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Copyright, 1892, 1898, by 
American Book Company. 

Jul. C^sar. 
W. P. 3 

^^0 COPIES REcavtD. 


Shakespeare's " Tragedie of Julius Caesar" was probably written about 
the year 1600. In Weever's " Mirror of Martyrs," putlished in 1601, are 
the lines, — 

" The many-headed multitude were drawn 
By Brutus' speech, that Cassar was ambitious ; 
When eloquent Mark Antony had shown 
His virtues, who but Brutus then was vicioiis ?" 

We know of nothing which could have suggested these lines to Weever, ex- 
cept Shakespeare's "Julius Csesar." In Plutarch no such scene exists. 
Thus it seems that the play must have been produced upon the stage as early 
as 1601, though its first appearance in print was in the Folio of 1623. 

The action of the drama extends from the spring of the year 44 B.C. to 
the autumn of 42 B. C. ; that is, over a period of about two years and a half. 

The historical materials of the play were found by Shakespeare in the 
lives of Csesar, Brutus, and Antony, as given in Sir Thomas North's trans- 
lation of Plutarch's "Lives," published in 1579. "North did not," says 
Skeat, " make his translation from the original Greek, or even from a Latin 
version, but from a French version by Jaques Amyot, Bishop of Auxerre, 
who is said to have followed the Latin text. As a strict and accurate version, 
it may, accordingly, have been surpassed in some points by others extant in 
English ; yet it has merits of its own which must not be hastily overlooked. 
In particular, it must be observed that the translation by Amyot was very 
faithful, spirited, and well executed ; and, though North fell into some mis- 
takes which Amyot had avoided, his English is especially gapd, racy, and 
well expressed. He had the advantage of writing at a period when nervous 
and idiomatic English was well understood and commonly written ; so that 
he constantly uses expressions which illustrate, in a very interesting manner, 
the language of our Authorized Version of the Bible. But whatever may be 
the occasional drawbacks of North's version on the score of inaccuracy, we 
know that it was his version, and no other, which Shakespeare used; it was 
from North, and no one else, that he imitated certain phrases, expressions, 



and characteristics so familiar to all readers, though v^ery few know which those 
phrases are." 

[From Trenches "Lectures on Plutarch.'''''^ 

Whatever Latin Shakespeare may have had, he certainly knew no Greek, 
and thus it was only through Sir Thomas North's translation that the rich 
treasure-house of Plutarch's "Lives " was accessible to him. Nor do I think 
it too much to affirm that his three great Roman plays, reproducing the an- 
cient Roman world as no other modern poetry has ever done, — I refer to 
" Coriolanus," "Julius Cassar,"and"Antony and Cleopatra," — would never 
have existed, or, had Shakespeare lighted by chance on these arguments, 
would have existed in forms altogether different from those in which they now 
appear, if Plutarch had not written, and Sir Thomas North, or some other in 
his place, had not translated. We have in Plutarch not the framework or 
skeleton only of the story, no, nor yet merely the ligaments and sinews, but 
very much also of the flesh and blood wherewith these are covered and 

It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that the whole play of "Julius 
Caesar " is to be found in Plutarch. Shakespeare, indeed, has thrown a rich 
mantle of poetry over all, which is often wholly his own ; but of the incident 
there is almost nothing which he does not owe to Plutarch, even as continu- 
ally he owes the very wording to Sir Thomas North. 

Yet Shakespeare never abdicates his royal preeminence. Thus Plutarch 
tells us of that funeral oration by Mark Antony, how " to conclude his ora- 
tion he unfolded before the whole assembly the bloody garments of the dead, 
thrust through in many places with their swords, and called the malefactors 
cruel and cursed murtherers." 

It is well said — a graphic touch ; but mark how Shakespeare has taken 
possession of it : — 

" You all do know this mantle : I remember 
The first time ever Cassar put it on ; 
'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent, 
That day he overcame the Nervii. 
Look ! in this place ran Cassius' dagger through : 
See what a rent the envious Casca made : 
Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb'd; 
And as he pluck'd his .cursed steel away, 
Mark how the blood of Cassar follow 'd it, 
As rushing out of doors, to be resolv'd 
If Brutus so unkindly knock'd, or no ; 
For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel." 

Nowhere does Shakespeare make any pretense of concealing his obliga- 
tions to Plutarch ; and we can only admire that grand confidence in his own 


resources which left him free without scruple to adopt and turn by assimila- 
tion to his own uses whatever he anywhere found which was likely to prove 
serviceable to the needs of his art. 

\_From Plutarch's "Julius Ccesar," Norths edition of i6i2.'\ 
At that time the feast lupercalia was celebrated, the which in old time 
men say was the feast of shepherds or herdmen, and is much like unto the 
feast of the Lyc£eans in Arcadia. But howsoever it is, that day there are 
divers noblemen's sons, young men, (and some of them magistrates themselves 
that govern then), which run through the city, striking in sport them they 
meet in their way with leather thongs, hair and all on, to make them give 
place. And many noblewomen and gentlewomen also go of purpose to stand 
in their way, and do put forth their hands to be stricken, as scholars hold 
them out to their schoolmaster to be stricken with the ferula : persuading them- 
selves that [in this manner they will avoid sterility]. Csesar sat to behold that 
sport upon the pulpit for orations, in a chain of gold, apparelled in trium- 
phant manner. Antonius, who was Consul at that time, was one of them 
that ran this holy course. So when he came into the market-place, the peo- 
ple made a lane for him to run at liberty, and he came to Csesar, and pre- 
sented him a diadem wreathed about with laurel. Whereupon there rose a 
certain cry of rejoicing, not very great, done only by a few appointed for the 
purpose. But when Csesar refused the diadem, then all the people together 
made an outcry of joy. Then Antonius offering it him again, there was a 
second shout of joy, but yet of a few. But when Csesar refused it again the 
second time, then all the whole people shouted. Csesar having made this 
proof, found that the people did not like of it, and thereupon rose out of his 
chair, and commanded the crown to be carried unto Jupiter in the Capitol. 
After that, there were set up images of Csesar in the city, with diadems upon 
their heads like kings. Those the two tribunes, Flavius and Marullus, went 
and pulled down, and furthermore, meeting with them that first saluted 
Csesar as king, they committed them to prison. . . . Csesar was so offended 
withal, that he deprived Marullus and Flavius of their tribuneships. . . . 

Now they that desired change, and wished Brutus only their prince and 
governor above all other, they durst not come to him themselves to tell him 
what they would have him to do, but in the night did cast sundry papers into 
the Prsetor's seat, where he gave audience, and the most of them to this 
effect: " Thou sleepest, Brutus, and art not Brutus indeed." Cassius, find- 
ing Brutus' ambition stirred up the more by these seditious bills, did prick 
him forward and egg him on the more, for a private quarrel he had conceived 
against Csesar. ... 

Csesar also had Cassius in great jealousy, and suspected him much : 
whereupon he said on a time to his friends, " what will Cassius do, think ye ? 


I like not his pale looks." Another time when Caesar's friends complained 
unto him of Antonius and Dolabella, that they pretended \_plotted'\ some mis- 
chief towards him : he answered them again, "As for those fat men and 
smooth-combed heads," quoth he, " I never reckon of them; but these pale- 
visaged and carrion-lean people, I fear them most," meaning Brutus and 

Certainly destiny may easier be foreseen than avoided, considering the 
strange and wonderful signs that were said to be seen before Csesar's 
death. For, touching the fires in the element, and spirits running up and 
down in the night, and also the solitary birds to be seen at noondays sitting 
in the great market-place, are not all these signs perhaps worth the noting, 
in such a wonderful chance as happened? But Strabo the philosopher writ- 
eth, that divers men were seen going up and down in fire : and furthermore, 
that there was a slave of the soldiers that did cast a marvellous burning flame 
out of his hand, insomuch as they that saw it thought he had been burnt ; 
but when the fire was out, it was found he had no hurt. Csesar self also 
doing sacrifice unto the gods, found that one of the beasts which was sacri- 
ficed had no heart : and that was a strange thing in nature, how a beast could 
live without a heart. Furthermore there was a certain soothsayer that had 
given Csesar warning long time afore, to take heed of the day of the Ides of 
March, (which is the fifteenth of the month), for on that day he should be in 
great danger. That day being come, Csesar going unto the Senate house, 
and speaking merrily unto the soothsayer, told him, " the Ides of March be 
come: " " So they be," softly answered the soothsayer, "but yet are they 
not past." . . . Then going to bed the same night, as his manner was, . . . 
all the windows and doors of his chaitiber flying open, the noise awoke him, 
and made him afraid when he saw such light : but more, when he heard his 
wife Calpurnia, being fast asleep, weep and sigh, and put forth many fum- 
bling lamentable speeches : for she dreamed that Csesar was slain, and that she 
had him in her arms. . . . Insomuch that, Csesar rising in the morning, she 
prayed him, if it were possible, not to go out of the doors th^t day, but to 
adjourn the session of the Senate until another day. And if that he made no 
reckoning of her dream, yet that he would search further of the soothsayers 
by their sacrifices, to know what should happen him that day. Thereby it 
seemed that Csesar likewise did fear or suspect somewhat, because his wife 
Calpurnia until that time was never given to any fear and superstition : and 
that then he saw her so troubled in mind with this dream she had. But much 
more afterwards, when the soothsayers having sacrificed many beasts one after 
another, told him that none did like them : then he determined to send An- 
tonius to adjourn the session of the Senate. 

But in the mean time came Decius Brutus, surnamed Albinus, in whom 
Csesar put such confidence, that in his last will and testament he had ap. 


pointed him to be his next heir, and yet was of the conspiracy with Cassius 
and Brutus : he, fearing that if Caesar did adjourn the session that day, the 
conspiracy would be betrayed, laughed at the soothsayers, and reproved 
Caesar, saying, " that he gave the Senate occasion to mislike with him, and that 
they might think he mocked them, considering that by his commandment they 
were 'assembled, and that they were ready willingly to grant him all things, 
and to proclaim him king of all his provinces of the Empire of Rome out of 
Italy, and that he should wear his diadem in all other places both by sea and 
land. And furthermore, that if any man should tell them from him they 
should depart for that present time, and return again when Calpurnia should 
have better dreams, what would his enemies and ill-willers say, and how 
could they like of his friends' words? And who could persuade them other- 
wise, but that they would think his dominion a slavery unto them and tyran- 
nical in himself? And yet if it be so," said he, " that you utterly mislike of 
this day, it is better that you go yourself in person, and, saluting the Senate, 
to dismiss them till another time." Therewithal he took Caesar by the hand, 
and brought him out of his house. ... 

And one Artemidorus also, born in the isle of Gnidos \^Cnidos\, a doctor 
of rhetoric in the Greek tongue, who by means of his profession was very 
familiar with certain of Brutus' confederates, and therefore knew the most 
part of all their practices against Caesar, came and brought him a little bill, 
written with his own hand, of all that he meant to tell him. He, marking 
how Caesar received all the supplications that were offered him, and that he 
gave them straight to his men that were about him, pressed nearer to him, 
and said: " Caesar, read this memorial to yourself, and that quickly, for they 
be matters of great weight, and touch you nearly." Caesar took it of him, 
but could never read it, though he many times attempted it, for the number 
of people that did salute him : but holding it still in his hand, keeping it to 
himself, went on withal into the Senate house. . . . For these things, they 
may seem to come by chance ; but the place where the murther was prepared, 
and where the Senate were assembled, and where also there stood up an image 
of Pompey dedicated by himself amongst other ornaments which he gave unto 
the theatre, all these were manifest proofs, that it was the ordinance of some 
god that made this treason to be executed, specially in that very place. It is 
also reported, that Cassius (though otherwise he did favour the doctrine of 
Epicurus) beholding the image of Pompey, before they entered into the 
action of their traitorous enterprise, he did softly call upon it to aid him : but 
the instant danger of the present time, taking away his former reason, did 
suddenly put him into a furious passion, and made him like a man half be- 
sides himself. Now Antonius, that was a faithful friend to Caesar, and a val- 
iant man besides of his hands, him Decius Brutus Albinus entertained out of 
the Senate house, having begun a long tale of set purpose. So Caesar coming 


into the house, all the Senate stood up on their feet to do him honour. Then 
part of Brutus' company and confederates stood round about Caesar's chair, 
and part of them also came towards him, as though they made suit with 
Mstellus Cimber, to call home his brother again from banishment : and thus 
prosecuting still their suit, they followed Caesar till he was set in his chair. 
Who denying their petitions, and being offended with them one after another, 
because the more they were denied the more they pressed upon him and 
were the earnester with him, Metellus at length, taking his gown with both 
his hands, pulled it over his neck, which was the sign given the confederates 
to set upon him. Then Casca, behind him, strake {striick'\ him in the neck 
with his sword ; howbeit the wound was not great nor mortal, because it 
seemed the fear of such a devilish attempt did amaze him and take his 
strength from him, that he killed him not at the first blow. But Caesar, turn- 
ing straight unto him, caught hold of his sword and held it hard; and they 
both cried out, Caesar in Latin:'" O vile traitor Casca, what doest thou?" 
and Casca, in Greek, to his brother: "Brother, help me." At the begin- 
ning of this stir, they that were present, not knowing of the conspiracy, were 
so amazed with the horrible sight they saw, they had no power to fly, neither 
to help him, nor so much as once to make an outcry. They on the other side 
that had conspired his death compassed him in on every side with their 
swords drawn in their hands, that Caesar turned him no where but he was 
stricken at by some, and still had naked swords in his face, and was hackled 
and mangled among them, as a wild beast taken of hunters. For it was 
agreed among them that every man should give him a wound, because all 
their parts should be in this murther : and then Brutus himself gave him a 
wound. . . . Men report also, that Caesar did still defend himself against the 
rest, running every way with his body : but when he saw Brutus with his 
sword drawn in his hand, then he pulled his gown over his head, and made 
no more resistance, and was driven either casually or purposedly, by the 
counsel of the conspirators, against the base whereupon Pompey's image 
stood, which ran all of a gore-blood till he was slain. Thus it seemed that 
the image took just revenge of Pompey's enemy, being thrown down on the 
ground at his feet, and yielding up the ghost there, for the number of wounds 
he had upon him. For it is reported, that he had three and twenty wounds 
upon his body : and divers of the conspirators did hurt themselves, striking 
one body with so many blows. 

\_From Plutarch's " Marcus Antonius," North's edition of i6i2.'\ 

They [the conspirators] consulted whether they should kill Antonius with 

Caesar. But Brutus would in no wise consent to it, saying, that venturing on 

such an enterprise as that, for the maintenance of law and justice, it ought to 

be clear from all villany. Yet they, fearing Antonius' power, and the authority 


of his office, appointed certain of the conspiracy, that when Caesar were gone 
into the senate, and while others should execute their enterprise, they should 
keep Antonius in a talk out of the Senate house. Even as they had devised 
these matters, so were they executed: and Caesar was slain in the middest 
{jnidsf] of the Senate. Antonius being put in a fear withal, cast a slave's 
gown upon him, and hid himself. But afterwards when it was told him that 
the murtherers slew no man else, and that they went only into the Capitol, he 
sent his son unto them for a pledge, and bade them boldly come down upon 
his word. The selfsame day he did bid Cassius to supper, and Lepidus also 
bade Brutus. . . . But now, the opinion he conceived of himself after he had 
a little felt the good- will of the people towards him, hoping thereby to make 
himself the chiefest man if he might overcome Brutus, did easily make him 
alter his first mind. And therefore, when Caesar's body was brought to the 
place where it should be buried, he made a funeral oration in commendation 
of Csesar, according to the ancient custom of praising noble men at their 
funerals. When he saw that the people were very glad and desirous also to 
hear Csesar spoken of, and his praises uttered, he mingled his oration with 
lamentable words ; and by amplifying of matters did greatly move their 
hearts and affections unto pity and compassion. In fine, to conclude his ora- 
tion, he unfolded before the whole assembly the bloody garments of the dead, 
thrust through in many places with their swords, and called the malefactors 
cruel and cursed murtherers. With these words he put the people into such 
a fury, that they presently took Csesar's body, and burnt it in the market- 
place, with such tables and forms as they could get together. Then when the 
fire was kindled, they took firebrands, and ran to the murtherers' houses to 
set them on fire, and to make them come out to fight. Brutus therefore and 
his accomplices, for safety of their persons, were driven to fly the city. 

Thus Antonius being afoot again, and grown of great power, repassed over 
the Alps, leading into Italy with him seventeen legions, and ten thousand 
horsemen, besides six legions he left in garrison among the Gauls, under the 
charge of one Varius, a companion of his that would drink lustily with him, 
and therefore in mockery was surnamed Cotylon, to wit, a bibber. So Octa- 
vius Csesar would not lean to Cicero, when he saw that his whole travell 
\travair\ and endeavour was only to restore the commonwealth to her former 
liberty. Therefore he sent certain of his friends to Antonius, to make them 
friends again : and thereupon all three met together (to wit, [Octavius] Csesar, 
Antonius, and Lepidus) in an iland {island~\ environed round about with a 
little river, and there remained three days together. Now as touching all 
other matters they were easily agreed, and did divide all the empire of Rome 
between them^ as if it had been their own inheritance. But yet they could 


hardly agree whom they would put to death : for every one of them would 
kill their enemies, and save their kinsmen and friends. Yet at length, giving 
place to their greedy desire to be revenged of their enemies, they spurned all 
reverence of blood and holiness of friendship at their feet. For [Octavius] 
Ceesar left Cicero to Antonius' will, Antonius also forsook Lucius Caesar, 
who was his uncle by his mother : and both of them together suffered Lepi- 
dus to kill his own brother Paulus. Yet some writers afSrm, that [Octavius] 
Csesar and Antonius requested Paulus might be slain, and that Lepidus was 
contented with it. 

[From Phitarch''s " Marcus Bruttis," NorMs edition of i6i2.'\ 
Now when Cassius felt his friends, and did stir them up against Caesar: 
they all agreed, and promised to take part with him, so Brutus were the chief 
of their conspiracy. For they told him that so high an enterprise and attempt 
as that, did not so much require imen of manhood and courage to draw their 
swords, as it stood them upon to have a man of such estimation as Brutus, to 
make every man boldly think, that by his only presence the fact were holy 
and just. . . ; Therefore Cassius, considering this matter with himself, did 
first of all speak to Brutus, since they grew strange together for the suit they 
had for the prsetorship. So when he was reconciled to him again, and that 
they had embraced one another, Cassius asked him if he were determined to 
be in the Senate house the first day of the month of March, because he heard 
say that Caesar's friends should move the council that day, that Caesar should 
be called king by the Senate. Brutus answered him, he would not be there. 
" But if we be sent for," said Cassius, " how then? " " For myself then," 
said Brutus, ' ' I mean not to hold my peace, but to withstand it, and rather 
die than lose my liberty." Cassius being bold, and taking hold of this word: 
" Why," quoth he, " what Roman is he alive that will suffer thee to die for 
thy liberty? What? knowest thou not that thou art Brutus? Thinkest thou 
that they be cobblers, tapsters, or suchlike base mechanical people, that write 
these bills and scrolls which are found daily in thy praetor's chair, and not the 
noblest men and best citizens that do it? No; be thou well assured that of 
other praetors they look for gifts, common distributions amongst the people, 
and for common plays, and to see fencers fight at the sharp, to shew the peo- 
ple pastime : but at thy hands they specially require (as a due debt unto them) 
the taking away of the tyranny, being fully bent to suffer any extremity for thy 
sake, so that thou wilt shew thyself to be the man thou art taken for, and that 
they hope thou art." Thereupon he kissed Brutus and embraced him: and 
so each taking leave of other, they went both to speak with their friends about 
it. Now amongst Pompey's friends, there was one called Caius Ligarius, 
who had been accused unto Ceesar for taking part with Pompey, and Caesar 
discharged him. But Ligarius thanked not Csesar so much for his discharge. 


as he was offended with him for that he was brought in danger by his tyran- 
nical power ; and therefore in his heart he was always his mortal enemy, and 
was besides very familiar with Brutus, who went to see him being sick in his 
bed, and said unto him : " Ligarius, in what a time art thou sick? " Liga- 
rius rising up in his bed, and taking him by the right hand, said unto him : 
" Brutus," said he, " if thou hast any great enterprise in hand worthy of thy- 
self, I am whole." 

After that time they began to feel all their acquaintance whom they trusted, 
and laid their heads together, consulting upon it, and did not only pick out 
their friends, but all those also whom they thought stout enough to attempt 
any desperate matter, and that were not' afraid to lose their lives. For this 
cause they durst not acquaint Cicero with their conspiracy, although he was 
a man whom they loved dearly, and trusted best : for they were afraid that he 
being a coward by nature, and age also having increased his fear, he would 
quite turn and alter all their purpose, and quench the heat of their enterprise, 
(the which specially required hot and earnest execution), seeking by persua- 
sion to bring all things to such safety, as there should be no peril. . . . 
Furthermore, the only name and great calling of Brutus did bring on the most 
of them to give consent to this conspiracy: who having never taken oaths to- 
gether, nor taken or given any caution or assurance, nor binding themselves 
one to another by any religious oaths, they all kept the matter so secret to 
themselves, and could so cunningly handle it, that notwithstanding the gods 
did reveal it by manifest signs and tokens from above, and by predictions of 
sacrifices, yet all this would not be believed. Now Brutus, who knew very 
well that for his sake all the noblest, valiantest, and most courageous men of 
Rome did venture their lives, weighing with himself the greatness of the 
danger : when he was out of his house, he did so frame and fashion his coun- 
tenance and looks that no man could discern he had anything to trouble his 
mind. But when night came that he was in his own house, then he was clean 
changed : for either care did wake him against his will when he would have 
slept, or else oftentimes of himself he fell into such deep thoughts of this en- 
terprise, casting in his mind all the dangers that might happen : that his wife 
. . . found that there was some marvellous great matter that troubled his 
mind, not being wont to be in that taking, and that he could not well deter- 
mine with himself. 

His wife Porcia was the daughter of Cato, whom Brutus married being his 
cousin, not a maiden, but a young widow after the death of her first husband 
Bibulus, by whom she had also a young son called Bibulus, who afterwards 
wrote a book of the acts and gests \doings\ of Brutus, extant at this present 
day. This young lady, being excellently well seen in philosophy, loving her 
husband well, and being of a noble courage, as she was also wise : because 
she would not ask her husband what he ailed before she had made some nroof 


by her self : she took a little razor, such as barbers occupy to pare men's 
nails, and, causing her maids and women to go out of her chamber, gave her- 
self a great gash withal in her thigh, that she was straight all of a gore-blood : 
and incontinently after a vehement fever took her, by reason of the pain of 
her wound. Then perceiving her husband was marvellously out of quiet, and 
that he could take no rest, even in her greatest pain of all she spake in this 
sort unto him: " I being, O Brutus," said she, " the daughter of Cato, was 
married unto thee, ... to be partaker with thee of thy good and evil for- 
tune. Now for thyself, I can find no cause of fault in thee touching our 
match : but for my part, how may I shew my duty towards thee and how 
much I would do for thy sake, if I cannot constantly bear a secret mischance 
or grief with thee, which requireth secrecy and fidelity? I confess that a 
woman's wit commonly is too weak to keep a secret safely : but yet, Brutus, 
good education and the company of virtuous men have some power to reform 
the defect of nature. And for myself, I have this benefit moreover, that I 
am the daughter of Cato, and wife of Brutus. This notwithstanding, I did not 
trust to any of these things before, until that now I have found by experience 
that no pain or grief whatsoever ca,n overcome me." With those words she 
shewed him her wound on her thigh, and told him what she had done to 
prove herself. Brutus was amazed to hear what she said unto him, and lift- 
ing up his hands to heaven, he besought the gods to give him the grace he 
might bring his enterprise to so good pass, that he might be found a hus- 
band worthy of so noble a wife as Porcia : so he then did comfort her the 
best he could. . . . 

By chance there fell out many misfortunes unto them, which was enough 
to have marred the enterprise. The first and chiefest was Csesar's long tarry- 
ing, who came very late to the Senate : for, because the signs of the sacrifices 
appeared unlucky, his wife Calphurnia kept him at home, and the soothsayers 
bade him beware he went not abroad. The second cause was, when one came 
unto Casca being a conspirator, and taking him by the hand, said unto. him : 
" O Casca, thou keptest it close from me, but Brutus hath told me all." 
Casca being amazed at it, the other went on with his tale, and said: " Why, 
how now, how cometh it to pass thou art thus rich, that thou dost sue to be 
^dilis? " Thus Casca, being deceived by the other's doubtful words, he told 
them it was a thousand to one, he blabbed not out all the conspiracy. Another 
senator, called Popilius Lsena, after he had saluted Brutus and Cassius more 
friendly than he was wont to do, he rounded softly in their ears, and told 
them : "I pray the gods you may go through with that you have taken in 
hand ; but withal, despatch, I reade \_advise\ you, for your enterprise is be- 
wrayed." When he had said, he presently departed from them, and left them 
both afraid that their conspiracy would out. 

Now in the mean time, there came one of Brutus' men post-haste unto him. 


and told him his wife was a-dying. For Porcia, being very careful and pen- 
sive for that which was to come, and being too weak to away with so great 
and inward grief of mind, she could hardly keep within, but was frighted with 
every little noise and cry she heard, as those that are taken and possessed 
with the fury of the Bacchantes ; asking every man that came from the mar- 
ket-place what Brutus did, and still sent messenger after messenger, to know 
what news. At length Csesar's coming being prolonged (as you have heard), 
Porcia's weakness was not able to hold out any longer, and thereupon she 
suddenly swounded \_s'wooited'\, that she had no leisure to go to her chamber, 
but was taken in the midst of her house, where her speech and senses failed 
her. Howbeit she soon came to herself again, and so was laid in her bed, 
and attended by her women. When Brutus heard these news, it grieved him, 
as it is to be presupposed : yet he left not oif the care of his country and com- 
monwealth, neither went home to his house for any news he heard. 

The next day following, the Senate, being called again to council, did first 
of all commend Antonius, for that he had wisely stayed and quenched the 
beginning of a civil war : then they also gave Brutus and his consorts great 
praises ; and lastly they appointed them several governments of Provinces. 
For unto Brutus they appointed Creta ; Africa unto Cassius ; Asia unto Tre- 
bonius ; Bithynia unto Cimber ; and unto the other, Decius Brutus Albinus, 
Gaul on this side of the Alps. When this was done, they came to talk of 
Cesar's will and testament and of his funerals and tomb. Then Antonius, 
thinking good his testament should be read openly, and also that his body 
should be honourably buried, and not in hugger-mugger \in secrecy^ lest the 
people might thereby take occasion to be worse offended if they did other- 
wise : Cassius stoutly spake against it. But Brutus went with the motion, 
and agreed unto it. . . . When Caesar's testament was openly read among 
them [the people], it appeared that he bequeathed unto every citizen of Rome 
seventy-five drachmas a man ; and that he left his gardens and arbours unto 
the people, which he had on this side of the river Tiber, in the place where 
now the temple of Fortune is built : the people then loved him, and were mar- 
vellous sorry for him. . . . Therewithal the people fell presently into such a 
rage and mutiny, that there was no more order kept amongst the common 
people. . . . Howbeit the conspirators, foreseeing the danger before, had 
wisely provided for themselves and fled. 

But there was a poet called Cinna, who had been no partaker of the con- 
spiracy, but was always one of Csesar's chiefest friends : . . . when he heard 
that they carried Caesar's body to burial, being ashamed not to accompany his 
funerals, he went out of his house, and thrust himself into the prease \_press\ 
of the common people that were in a great uproar. And because some one 


called him by his name Cinna, the people, thinking he had been that Cinna 
who in an oration he made had spoken very evil of Cssar, they, falling upon 
him in their rage, slew^ him outright in the market-place. This made Brutus 
and his companions more afraid than any other thing, next unto the change 
of Antonius. Wherefore they got them out of Rome. 

About that time Brutus sent to pray Cassius to come to the city of Sardis, 
and so he did. Brutus, understanding of his coming, went to meet him with 
all his friends. There both their armies being armed, they called them both 
Emperors. Now as it commonly happened in great affairs between two per- 
sons, both of them having many friends and so many captains under them, 
there ran tales and complaints betwixt them. Therefore, before they fell in 
hand with any other matter, th'ey went into a little chamber together, and 
bade every man avoid, and did shut the doors to them. Then they began to 
pour out their complaints one to the other, and grew hot and loud, earnestly 
accusing one another, and at length fell both a-weeping. Their friends that 
were without' the chamber, hearing them loud within, and angry between 
themselves, they were both amazed and afraid also, lest it would grow to fur- 
ther matter : but yet they were commanded that no man should come to them. 
Notwithstanding, one Marcus Phaonius, that had been a friend and a follower 
of Cato while he lived, and took upon him to counterfeit a philosopher, not with 
wisdom and discretion, but with a certain bedlem and frantic motion : he would 
needs come into the chamber, though the men offered to keep him out. . . . 
This Phaonius at that time, in despite of the door-keepers, came into the cham- 
ber, and with a certain scofhng and mocking gesture, which he counterfeited 
of purpose, he rehearsed the verses which old Nestor said in Homer : — 

" My lords, I pray you hearken both to me, 
For I have seen mo years than suchie three." 

Cassius fell a-laughing at him : but Brutus thrust him out of the chamber, 
and called him dog, and counterfeit cynic. Howbeit his coming in brake 
\broke\ their strife at that time, and so they left each other. . . . The next 
day after, Brutus, upon complaint of the Sardians, did condemn and note 
Lucius Pella for a defamed person, that had been a Praetor of the Romans, and 
whom Brutus had given charge unto : for that he was accused and convicted 
of robbery and pilfery in his oiifice. This judgment much misliked Cassius, 
because he himself had secretly (not many days before) warned two of his 
friends, attainted and convicted of the like offences, and openly had cleared 
them : bijt yet he did not therefore leave to employ them in any manner of 
service as he did before. And therefore he gi'eatly reproved Brutus, for that 
he would shew himself so straight {straif^ and severe, in such a time as was 


meeter to bear a little than to take things at the worst. Brutus in contrary 
manner answered, that he should remember the Ides of March, at which time 
they slew Julius Ccesar, who neither pilled \j-obbed'\ nor polled {taxed'\ the 
country, but only was a favourer and suborner of all them that did rob and 
spoil, by his countenance and authority. And if there were any occasion 
whereby they might honestly set aside justice and equity, they should have 
had more reason to have suffered Csesar's friends to have robbed and done 
what wrong and injury they had would \wished'\ than to bear with their own 
men. " For then," said he, " they could but have said we had been cowards, 
but now they may accuse us of injustice, beside the pains we take, and the 
danger we put ourselves into." And thus may we see what Brutus' intent 
and purpose was. . . . 

Brutus was a careful man, and slept very little, both for that his diet was 
moderate, as also because he was continually occupied. He never slept in 
the day-time, and in the night no longer than the time he was driven to be 
alone, and when everybody else took their rest. But now whilst he was in 
war, and his head ever busily occupied to think of his affairs and what would 
happen, after he had slumbered a little after supper, he spent all the rest of 
the night in dispatching of his weightiest causes ; and after he had taken order 
for them, if he had any leisure left him, he would read some book till the 
third watch of the night, at what time the captains, petty captains, and colo- 
nels, did use to come to him. So, being ready to go into Europe, one night 
very late (when all the camp took quiet rest) as he was in his tent with a 
little light, thinking of weighty matters, he thought he heard one come in to 
him, and casting his eye towards the door of his tent, that he saw a wonderful 
strange and monstrous shape of a body coming towards him, and said never 
a word. So Brutus boldly asked what he was, a god or a man, and what 
cause brought him thither? The spirit answered him, " I am thy evil spirit, 
Brutus: and thou shalt see me by the city of Philippes." Brutus being no 
otherwise afraid, replied again unto it : " Well, then I shall see thee again." 
The spirit presently vanished away : and Brutus called his men unto him, 
who told him that they heard no noise, nor saw anything at all. 

The next morning, by break of day, the signal of battle was set out in Bru- 
tus' and Cassius' camp which was an arming scarlet coat \a scarlet coat worn 
as armor'] : and both the chieftains spake together in the midst of their 
armies. There Cassius began to speak first, and said: " The gods grant us, 
O Brutus, that this day we may win the field, and ever after to live all the 
rest of our life quietly one with another. But sith [since'] the gods have so 
ordained it, that the greatest and chiefest things amongst men are most un- 
certain, and that if the battle fall out otherwise to-day than we wish or look 


for, we shall hardly meet again, what art thou then determined to do, to fly, 
or die?" Brutus answered him : " Being yet but a young man, and not over 
greatly experienced in the world, I trust i (I know not how) a certain rule 
of philosophy, by the which I did greatly blame and reprove Cato for killing 
himself, as being no lawful nor godly act, touching the gods : nor concerning 
men, valiant ; not to give place and yield to divine providence, and not con- 
stantly and patiently to take whatsoever it pleaseth him to send us, but to 
draw back and fly : but being now in the midst of the danger, I am of a con- 
trary mind. For if it be not the will of God that this battle fall out fortu- 
nate for us, I will look no more for hope, neither seek to make any new sup- 
ply for war again, but will rid me of this miserable world, and content me 
with my fortune. For I gave up my life for my country in the Ides of 
March, for the which I shall live in another more glorious world." Cassius 
fell a-laughing to hear what he' said, and embracing him, " Come on then," 
said he, " let us go and charge our enemies with this mind. For either we 
shall conquer, or we shall not need to fear the conquerors." After this 
talk, they fell to consultation among their friends for the ordering of the 

So Cassius himself was at length compelled to fly, with a few about him, 
unto a little hill, from whence they might easily see what was done in all the 
plain : howbeit Cassius himself saw nothing, for his sight was very bad, sav- 
ing that he saw (and yet with much ado) how the enemies spoiled his camp 
before his eyes. He saw also a great troupe of horsemen, whom Brutus sent 
to aid him, and thought that they were his enemies that followed him : but 
yet he sent Titinnius, one of them that was with him, to go and know what 
they were. Brutus' horsemen saw him coming afar off, whom when they 
knew that he was one of Cassius' chiefest friends, they shouted out for joy; 
and they that were familiarly acquainted with him lighted from their horses, 
and went and embraced him. The rest compassed him in round about on 
horseback, with songs of victory and great rushing \clashing\ of their har- 
ness \_arnior\, so that they made all the field ring again for joy. But this 
marred all. For Cassius, thinking indeed that Titinnius was taken of the 
enemies, he then spake these words: "Desiring too much to live, I have 
lived to see one of my best friends taken, for my sake, before my face.'* 
After that, he got into a tent where nobody was, and took Pindarus with him, 
one of his bondsmen whom he reserved ever for such a pinch, since the cursed j 
battle of the Parthians, where Crassus was slain, though he notwithstanding ■ 
scaped from that overthrow : but then, casting his cloak over his head, and j 
holding out his bare neck unto Pindarus, he gave him his head to be stricken i 

1 The past tense, trusted (old English, truste), is evidently intended. j 


off. So the head was found severed from the body : but after that time Pin- 
darus was never seen more. Whereupon some took occasion to say that he 
had slain his master without his commandment. By and by they knew the 
horsemen that came towards them, and might see Titinnius crowned with a 
garland of triumph, who came before with great speed unto Cassius. But 
when he perceived, by the cries and tears of his friends which tormented 
themselves, the misfortune that had chanced to his captain Cassius by mis- 
taking, he drew out his sword, cursing himself a thousand times that he had 
tarried so long, and so slew himself presently in the field. Brutus in the 
mean time came forward still, and understood also that Cassius had been 
overthrown : but he knew nothing of his death till he came very near to his 
camp. So when he was come thither, after he had lamented the death of 
Cassius, calling him the last of all the Romans, being unpossible that Rome 
should ever breed again so noble and valiant a man as he, he caused his body 
to be buried, and sent it to the city of Thassos, fearing lest his funerals 
\biirial'\ within his camp should cause great disorder. 

Now the night being far spent, Brutus as he sat bowed towards Clitus, 
one of his men, and told him somewhat in his ear : the other answered him 
not, but fell a-weeping. Thereupon he proved \_spoke to\ Dardanus, and 
said somewhat also to him : at length he came to Volumnius himself, and 
speaking to him in Greek, prayed him for the studies' sake which brought 
them acquainted together, that he would help him to put his hand to his 
sword, to thrust it in him to kill him. Volumnius denied his request, and so 
did many others : and amongst the rest, one of them said, there was no tarry- 
ing for them there, but that they must needs fly. Then Brutus, rising up, 
" We must fly indeed," said he, " but it must be with our hands, not with 
our feet." Then taking every man by the hand, he said these words unto 
them with a cheerful countenance: " It rejoiceth my heart, that not one of 
my friends hath failed me at my need, and I do not complain of my fortune, 
but only for my country's sake : for as for me, I think myself happier than 
they that have overcome, considering that I have a perpetual fame of our 
courage and manhood, the which our enemies the conquerors shall never 
attain unto by force or money ; neither can let \Jiinder'\ their posterity to say 
that they, being naughty and unjust men, have slain good men, to usurp 
tyrannical power not pertaining to them." Having said so, he prayed every 
man to shift for themselves, and then he went a little aside with two or three 
only, among the which Strato was one, with whom he came first acquainted 
by the study of rhetoric. He came as near to him as he could, and taking 
his sword by the hilt with both his hands, and falling down upon the point of 
it, ran himself through. Others say that not he, but Strato (at his request) 


held the sword in his hand, and turned his head aside, and that Brutus fell 
down upon it, and so ran himself through, and died presently. 

Messala, that had been Brutus' great friend, became afterwards Octavius 
Caesar's friend : so, shortly after, Csesar being at good leisure, he brought 
Strato, Brutus' friend, unto him, and weeping said: " Csesar, behold, here 
is he that did the last service to my Brutus." Caesar welcomed him at that 
time, and afterwards he did him as faithful service in all his affairs as any 
Grecian else he had about him, until the battle of Actium. It is reported 
also that this Messala himself answered Caesar one day, when he gave him 
great praise before his face, that he had fought valiantly and with great aifec- 
tion for him at the battle of Actium (notwithstanding that he had been his 
cruel enemy before, at the battle of Philippes, for Brutus' sake) : "I ever 
loved," said he, " to take the best and justest part." Now Antonius having 
found Brutus' body, he caused it to be wrapped up in one of the richest coat- 
armours he had. Afterwards also, Antonius understanding that this coat- 
armour was stolen, he put the thief to death that had stolen it, and sent the 
ashes of his body unto Servilia his mother, . ' 



Julius Caesar. 

octavius c^sar, 
Marcus Antonius, 
M. ^MiLius Lepidus, 

) triumvirs 
after the 
death of 
Julius Cmsar 
Cicero, 1 

PuBLius, \ senators. 

PopiLius Lena, J 
Marcus Brutus, 


Decius Brutus, 
Metellus Cimber, 


Flavius and Marullus, tribunes. 
Artemidorus, of Cnidos, a teacher 
of rhetoric. 



Julius Casar. 

A Soothsayer. 
Cinna, a poet. 



Young Cato, 








PiNDARUS, servant to Cassius. 

Calpurnia, zvife to Ccesar. 
Portia, wife to Brictus. 

Senators, Citizens, Guards, Attend- 
ants, etc. 

Another Poet. 

friends to Brutus 
and Cassius. 

servants to Brtitus. 

Scene: Rome; the neighborhood of Sardis; the neighborhood of Fhilippi. 


Scene I. Rome. A Street. 

Enter Flavius, Marullus, and certain Commoners. i 
Flavius. Hence! home, you idle creatures, get you home; 
Is this a hohday? what! know you not, 
Being mechanical,^ you ought not walk 
Upon a laboring day without the sign 
Of your profession? Speak, what trade art thou? 

1 Plebeians : here they are artisans. 


2 Mechanics ; artisans. 


First Commoner. Why, sir, a carpenter. 

Mandlus. Where is thy leather apron and thy rule? 
What dost thou with thy best apparel on? 
You, sir, what trade are you? 

Second Commoner. Truly, sir, in respect of ^ a fine workman, I 
am but, as you would say, a cobbler.^ 

Marnllns. But what trade art thou? answer me directly .^ 

Second Commoner. A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with a 
safe conscience ; which is, indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles. 

Marullus. What trade, thou knave? thou naughty knave, what 

Second Commoner. Nay,' I beseech you, sir, be not out with 
me : yet, if you be out, sir, I can mend you. 

Marullus. What mean'st thou by that? mend me, thou saucy 
fellow ! 

Second Commoner. Why, sir, cobble you. 

Flavins. Thou art a cobbler, art thou? 

Second Commoner. Truly, sir, all that I live by is with the awl : 
I meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor women's matters, but 
with awl. I am, indeed, sir, a surgeon to old shoes ; when they 
are in great danger, I recover them. As proper* men as ever 
trod upon neat's leather have gone upon my handiwork. 

Flavins. But wherefore art not in thy shop to-day? 
Why dost thou lead these men about the streets? 

Second Commoner. Truly, sir, to wear out their shoes, to get 
myself into more work. But, indeed, sir, we make holiday, to see 
Caesar and to rejoice in his triumph. 

Marullus. Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home? 
What tributaries follow him to Rome, 

1 " In respect of," i.e., in comparison with. 

2 A cobbler in the sense of a bungling workman of any trade. Flavius 
uses the word a few lines below in its restricted meaning as a mender o{ 

3 Without equivocation. 

* Constantly used by Shakespeare for " comely," " handsome-looking." 


To grace in captive bonds his chariot-wheels? ^ 

You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things! 

O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome, 

Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft 

Have you climb'd up to walls and battlements, 

To towers and windows, yea, to chimney-tops, 

Your infants in yoiu" arms, and there-have sat 

The live-long day, with patient expectation. 

To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome : 

And when you saw his chariot but appear. 

Have you not made an universal shout, 

That Tiber trembled underneath her^ banks, 

To hear the replication of your sounds 

Made in her concave shores? 

And do you now put on your best attire? 

And do you now cull out a holiday? 

And do you now strew flowers in his way 

That comes in triumph over Pompey 's blood? ^ 

Be gone! 

Run to your houses, fall upon your knees, 

Pray to the gods to intermit the plague 

That needs must light on this ingratitude. 

Flavins. Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this fault. 
Assemble all the poor men of your sort ; 
Draw them to Tiber banks, and weep your tears 
Into the channel, till the lowest stream 
Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.'* 

\Exeunt all the Commoners . 

- In the triumphal entry of a returning conqueror, he was accompanied 
by his most distinguished captives, who were often tied to his chariot. 

2 English poets of Shakespeare's time and earlier, in personifying rivers, 
frequently make them feminine. 

3 Over Pompey's kindred. Csesar defeated Pompey's sons, slaying one 
of them, at the battle of Munda, fought March 17, 45 B.C. 

* " Till the lowest stream," etc., i.e., till your tears swell the river from 
its lowest to its highest stage. 


See, whe'eri their basest metal 2 be not mov'd; 
They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness. 
Go you down that way towards the Capitol ; 
This way will I : disrobe the images,^ 
If you do find them deck'd with ceremonies.* 

MaruUus. May we do so? 
You know it is the feast of Lupercal.^ 

Flavius. It is no matter ; let no images 
Be hung with Caesar's trophies. I'll about, 
And drive away the vulgar from the streets : 
So do you too, where you perceive them thick. 
These growing feathers pluck'd from Csesar's wing 
Will make him fly an ordinary pitch,^ 
Who else would soar above the view of men 
And keep us all in servile fearfulness. \Exeunt. 

Scene II. A Public Place. 

Flourish. Enter C^SAR; Antony, for the course; Calpurnia, Portia, j 
Decius, Cicero, Brutus, Cassius, and Casca; a great crowd foU \ 
lowing, among them a Soothsayer. j 

CcBsar. Calpurnia! | 

Casca. Peace, ho! Csesar speaks. \ 

Ccesar. Calpurnia! 

Calpurnia. Here, my lord. 1 

1 Whether. ' 

2 The mettle of the basest of them. ; 

3 Statues or busts of Csesar. 

* Emblems of honor or veneration. 

5 The feast of Lupercalia, one of the oldest of Roman festivals, was cele- 
brated annually on the 15th of February in honor of Lupercus, the god of 
fruitfulness. See Introduction, p. 5. 

6 A term of falconry, indicating the height to which the hawk rises in the 
air before swooping on the quarry. 


C(Bsar. Stand you directly in Antonius' way, 
When he doth run his course. Antonius ! 

Antony. Caesar, my lord? 

Cc£sar. Forget not, in your speed, Antonius, 
To touch Calpumia; for our elders say, 
The barren, touched in this holy chase, 
Shake off their sterile curse. 

Antony. I shall remember: 

When Caesar says " do this," it is perform'd. 

Casar. Set on ; and leave no ceremony out. [Flourish. 

Soothsayer. Caesar ! 

Ccesar. Ha! who calls? 

Casca. Bid every noise be still : peace yet again ! 

CcBsar. Who is it in the press that calls on me? 
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music, 
Cry " Caesar! " Speak ; Caesar is turn'd to hear. 

Soothsayer. Beware the Ides of March.^ 

Ccesar. What man is that? 

Brutus. A soothsayer bids you beware the Ides of March. 

Ccesar. Set him before me ; let me see his face. 

Cassius. Fellow, come from the throng ; look upon Caesar. 

Ccesar. What say'st thou to me now? speak once again. 

Soothsayer. Beware the Ides of March. 

Ccesar. He is a dreamer ; let us leave him : pass. 

[Se?inet. Exeunt all except Brutus and Cassius. 

Cassius. Will you go see the order of the course? 

Brutus. Not I. 

Cassius. I pray you, do. 

Brutus. I am not gamesome : I do lack some part 
Of that quick spirit that is in Antony. 

1 In the Roman calendar the month had three divisions, — the Calends, on 
the ist; the Ides, which fell on the 15th of March, May, July, and October, 
and on the 13th of the remaining months; and the Nones, nine days before 
the Ides. The intervening days were distinguished by counting backwards 
from the Calends, Nones, and Ides respectively. 



Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires ; :i 

I'll leave you. • ^ 

Cassius. Brutus, 1 do observe you now of late : . \ 

I have not from your eyes that gentleness i 

And show of love as ^ I was wont to have : \ 

You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand i 

Over your friend that loves you. i 

Brutus. Cassius, ) 

Be not deceiv'd : if I have veil'd my look, i 

I turn the trouble of my countenance ; 

Merely 2 upon myself. Vexed I am j 

Of late with passions of soine difference,^ j 

Conceptions only proper to myself,* \ 

Which give some soil ^ perhaps to my behavior ; j 

But let not .therefore my good friends be griev'd — J 

Among which number, Cassius, be you one — '•■ 

Nor construe any further my neglect, : 

Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war, : 

Forgets the shows of love to other men. \ 

Cassius. Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion ; ; 

By means whereof this breast of mine hath buried \ 

Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations. ;: 

Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face? 1 

Brutus. No, Cassius ; for the eye sees not itself \ 

But by reflection by some other thing.^ ; 

Cassius. 'Tis just : | 

And it is very much lamented, Brutus, \ 

1 " As " for " that" was used by good writers long after Shakespeare's 

2 Entirely. 

3 " Passions of some difference," i.e., conflicting emotions. 
* " Proper to myself," i.e., concerning myself alone. 

5 Blemish. 

6 " The eye sees not itself but by reflection," etc. ; i.e., sees not itself, but 
its image reflected from some other thing. 


That you have no such mirrors as will turn 

Your hidden worthiness into your eye, ; 

That you might see your shadow. I have heard, ,j 

Where many of the best respect in Rome, — \ 

Except immortal Caesar, — speaking of Brutus, \ 

And groaning underneath this age's yoke, j 

Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes. ; 

Brutus. Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius, \ 

That you would have me seek into myself j 

For that Avhich is not in me? i 

Cassius. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepar'd to hear: \ 

And since you know you cannot see yourself ' 1 

So well as by reflection, I, your glass, i 

Will modestly discover to yourself ; 

That of yourself which you yet know not of. i 

And be not jealous on me,i gentle Brutus : j 

Were I a common laugher,^ or did use j 

To stale with ordinary oaths my love ' 
To every new protester ; if you know 

That I do fawn on men and hug them hard i 

And after scandal them, or if you know j 

That I profess myself in banqueting I 

To all the rout, then hold me dangerous. [Flourish, and shout. \ 

Brutus. What means this shouting? I do fear, the people ; 

Choose Caesar for their king. ' 

Cassius. Ay, do you fear it? 

Then must I think you would not have it so. 

Brutus. I would not, Cassius ; yet I love him well. j 

But wherefore do you hold me here so long? 1 

What is it that you would impart to me ? ; 

If it be aught toward the general good, ; 

Set honor in one eye and death i' the other, ■ 

1 " Jealous on me," i.e., doubtful or suspicious of me. " On" for " of " 

is not unusual in Shakespeare. ,j 

2 -Buffoon. \ 

26 SHAKESPEARE. [act i. 

And I will look on both indifferently, 
For let the gods so speed me as I love 
The name of honor more than I fear death. 

Cassius. I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus, 
As well as I do know your outward favor.^ 
Well, honor is the subject of my story. 
I cannot tell what you and other men 
Think of this life ; but, for my single self, 
I had as lief not be as live to be 
In awe of such a thing as I myself.2 
I was born free as Caesar ; so were you : 
We both have fed as well, and we can both 
Endure the winter's cold as well as he : 
For once, upon a raw and gusty day, 
The troubled Tiber chafing with her shores, 
Caesar said to me " Dar'st thou, Cassius, now 
Leap in with me into this angry flood. 
And swim to yonder point? " Upon the word, 
Accoutered as I was, I plunged in 
And bade him follow ; so indeed he did. 
The torrent roar'd, and we did buffet it 
With lusty sinews, throwing it aside 
And stemming it with hearts of controversy ; 
But ere we could arrive ^ the point propos'd, 
Cassar cried " Help me, Cassius, or I sink! " 
I, as yEneas, our great ancestor. 
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder 
The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber 
Did I the tired Caesar. And this man 

1 Personal appearance. 

2 " As I myself," that is, as a mortal like myself, i.e., Cassius. 

3 Arrive at. "Arrive" is also found without the " at" in Milton (Para- 
dise Lost, Book II., line 409) : — 

" Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive 
The happy isle." 


Is now become a god, and Cassius is 
A wretched creature and must bend his body, 
If Caesar carelessly but nod on him. 
He had a fever when he was in Spain, 
And when the fit was on him, I did mark 
How he did shake : 'tis true, this god did shake : 
His coward lips did from their color fly. 
And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world- 
Did lose his ^ luster : I did hear him groan : 
Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans 
Mark him and write his speeches in their books, 
Alas, it cried " Give me some drink, Titinius," 
As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me 
A man of such a feeble temper should 
So get the start of the majestic world 
And bear the palm alone. \Shout. Flourish 

Brutus. Another general shout! 
I do believe that these applauses are 
For some new honors that are heap'd on Caesar. 

Cassius. Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world 
Like a Colossus,^ and we petty men 
Walk under his huge legs and peep about 
To find ourselves dishonorable graves. 
Men at some time are masters of their fates : 

1 " His," the old form of the neuter possessive pronoun, is used, with 
very few exceptions, by Shakespeare. " Its " does not appear at all in the 
Authorized Version of the Bible printed in 16 11, and the word had not come 
into general use fifty years later. 

2 The famous Colossus of Apollo, a brazen image over a hundred feet 
high, was erected at Rhodes, three hundred years before the Christian era. 
Its " huge legs" spanned the entrance to a part of the harbor, with ample 
room for the passage of large ships between them ; and from its top, reached 
by a winding staircase, " the shores of Syria, and the vessels that sailed along 
the coast of Egypt, were easily discerned by the aid of glasses which hung on 
the neck of the statue." It was counted one of the seven wonders of the 

28 SHAKESPEARE. [act i. 

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,^ 

But in ourselves, that we are underlings. 

Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that " Caesar"? 

Why should that name be sounded more than yours? 

Write them together, yours is as fair a name ; 

Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well ; 

Weigh them, it is as heavy ; conjure with 'em, 

" Brutus " will start a spirit as soon as " Caesar." 

Now, in the names of all the gods at once, 

Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed. 

That he is grown so great? Age, thou art sham'd! 

Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods ! 

When went there by an age, since the great flood, 

But it was fam'd with more than with one man? 

When could they say till now, that talk'd of Rome, 

That her wide walls encompass'd but one man? 

Now is it Rome indeed and room^ enough, 

When there is in it but one only man. 

O, you and I have heard our fathers say. 

There was a Brutus ^ once that would have brook'd 

The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome 

As easily as a king. 

Brutus. That you do love me, I am nothing jealous ;^ 
What you would work me to, I have some aim : ^ 
How I have thought of this and of these times, 
I shall recount hereafter ; for this present, 

1 Reference is made here to the astrological belief that the stars in the 
ascendant at the birth of a man exercised an influence over his whole life. 

2 " Rome" was pronounced like " room" by Shakespeare. He rhymes 
it with " doom." 

3 Marcus Brutus came of that Junius Brutus for whom the ancient Ro- 
mans made his statue of brass to be set up in the Capitol, with the images of 
the kings, holding a naked sword in his hand, because he had valiantly put 
down the Tarquins from the kingdom of Rome. — North's Plutarch, 

4 " I am nothing jealous," i.e., I doubt not. 

5 Surmise ; guess. 


I would not, so with love I might entreat you, • 

Be any further mov'd. What you have said '; 

I will consider ; what you have to say 

I will with patience hear, and find a time | 

Both meet to hear and answer such high things. 

Till then, my noble friend, chew ^ upon this : 

Brutus had rather be a villager ; 

Than to repute himself a son of Rome 

Under these hard conditions as this time -■ 

Is like to lay upon us. ! 

Cassius. I am glad that my weak words j 

Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus. ! 

Brutus. The games are done and Caesar is returning. i 

Cassius. As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve ; \ 

And he will, after his sotu fashion, tell you 

What hath proceeded worthy note to-day. 

Reenter C/^SAR a7td his train. \ 

Brutus. I will do so. But, look you, Cassius, « 

The angry spot doth glow on Caesar's brow, ! 

And all the rest look like a chidden train : 1 

Calpurnia's cheek is pale ; and Cicero 1 

Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes \ 

As we have seen him in the Capitol, \ 

Being cross'd in conference by some senators. ! 

Cassius. Casca will tell us what the matter is. ' \ 

CcRsar. Antonius! ; 

Antony. Caesar? • 

CcEsar. Let me have men about me that are fat ; ■ 

Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o' nights : ! 

Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look ; I 

He thinks too^ much : such men are dangerous. j 


\ Ruminate; reflect. 

30 SHAKESPEARE. [act i. 

Antony. Fear him not, Caesar ; he's not dangerous ; 
He is a noble Roman and well given.^ 

CcBsar. Would he were fatter ! But I fear him not : 
Yet if my name were liable to fear, 
I do not know the man I should avoid 
So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much ; 
He is a great observer, and he looks 
Quite through the deeds of men ; he loves no plays, 
As thou dost, Antony ; he hears no music ; 
Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort 
As if he mock'd himself and scorn'd his spirit 
That could be mov'd to smile at anything. 
Such men as he be never at heart's ease 
Whiles they behold a greater than themselves, 
And therefore are they very dangerous. 
I rather tell thee what is to be fear'd 
Than what I fear ; for always I am Caesar. 
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf. 
And tell me truly what thou think'st of him. 

\^Sen72et. Exeunt Ccesar and all his train, but Casca. 

Casca. You pull'd me by the cloak; would you speak with 

Brutus. Ay, Casca ; tell us what hath chanc'd to-day, 
That Caesar looks so sad. 

Casca. Why, you were with him, were you not? 

Brutus. I should not then ask Casca what had chanc'd, 

Casca. Why, there was a crown offer'd him : and being offer'd 
him, he put it by with the back of his hand, thus ; and then the 
people fell a-shouting. 

Brutus. What was the second noise for ? 

Casca. Why, for that too. 

Cassius. They shouted thrice : what was the last cry for ? 

Casca. Why, for that too. 

Brutus. Was the crown offer'd him thrice? 

1 Well disposed. 


Casca. Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, every 
time gentler than other ; and at every putting-by mine honest 
neighbors shouted. 

Cassius. Who oflfer'd him the crown? 

Casea. Why, Antony. 

Brutus. Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca. 

Casca. I can as well be hang'd as tell the manner of it: it 
was mere foolery; I did not mark it. I saw Mark Antony 
offer him a crown ; — yet 'twas not a crown neither, 'twas one 
of these coronets ; — and, as I told you, he put it by once : 
but, for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it. 
Then he offer'd it to him again ; then he put it by again : 
but, to my thinking, he was very loath to lay his fingers off 
it. And then he offer'd it the third time ; he put it the third 
time by : and still as he refus'd it, the rabblement shouted and 
clapp'd their chapp'd hands and threw up their sweaty night- 
caps and utter'd such a deal of stinking breath because Caesar 
refus'd the crown that it had almost choked Caesar; for he 
swoundedi and fell down at it: and for mine own part, I 
durst not laugh, for fear of opening my hps and receiving the 
bad air. 

Cassius. But, soft, I pray you: what, did Caesar swound? 

Casca. He fell down in the market-place, and foam'd at 
mouth, and was speechless. 

Brutus. 'Tis very like : he hath the falling sickness.^ 

Cassius. No, Caesar hath it not ; but you and I 
And honest Casca, we have the falhng sickness. 

Casca. I know not what you mean by that ; but, I am sure, 
Caesar fell down. If the tag-rag people did not clap him and 
hiss him, according as he pleas'd and displeas'd them, as they 
use to do the players in the theater, I am no true man. 

Brutus. What said he when he came unto himself? 

Casca. Marry, before he fell down, when he perceiv'd the 

1 Swooned ; variously spelled by Shakespeare. 

8 " Falling sickness," i.e., falling in a fit; epilepsy. 

32 SHAKESPEARE. [act i. 

common herd was glad he refus'd the crown, he pluck'd me^ 
ope his doublet and offer'd them his throat to cut. An I had 
been a man of any occupation, ^ if I would not have taken him 
at a word, I would I might go to hell among the rogues. And 
so he fell. When he came to himself again, he said, If he had 
done or said anything amiss, he desir'd their worships to think it 
was his infirmity."^ Three or four wenches, where I stood, cried 
"Alas, good soul!" and forgave him with all their hearts : but 
there's no heed to be taken of them ; if Caesar had stabb'd their 
mothers, they would have done no less. 

Brutus. And after that, he came, thus sad, away? 

Casca. Ay. 

Casshis. Did Cicero say anything? 

Casca. Ay, he spoke Greek. 

Cassius. , To what effect ? 

Casca. Nay, an I tell you that, I'll ne'er look you i' th' face 
again : but those that understood him smil'd at one another and 
shook their heads ; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me. 
I could tell you more news too : MaruUus and Flavins, for pull- 
ing scarfs off Caesar's images, are put to silence. Fare you well. 
There was more foolery yet, if I could remember it. 

Cassius. Will you sup with me to-night, Casca? 

Casca. No, I am promis'd forth. 

Cassius. Will you dipe with me to-morrow? 

Casca. Ay, if I be ahve and your mind hold and your dinner 
worth the eating. 

Cassius. Good : I will expect you. 

Casca. Do so. Farewell, both. \Exit. 

1 " Me" is redundant here, and is often so used, without a pronominal, 
by writers of the Elizabethan age. It serves to enliven a colloquial form of 

2 "An I had been a man of any occupation," i.e., if I had been a man of 
action, that is, a man prompt to seize an opportunity. "An" (or "and") 
for " if" is frequently met with in Old English writers. 

3 " Think it was his infirmity," i.e., impute it to his disease. 


Brutus. What a blunt fellow is this grown to be! 
He was quick mettle when he went to school. 

Cassius. So is he now in execution 
Of any bold or noble enterprise, 
However he puts on this tardy form. 
This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit, 
Which gives men stomach to digest his words 
With better appetite. 

Buitus. And so it is. For this time I will leave you : 
To-morrow, if you please to speak with me, 
I will come home to you ; or, if you will. 
Come home to me, and I will wait for you. 

Cassius. I will do so : till then, think of the world. 

[Exit Brutus. 
Well, Brutus, thou art noble ; yet, I see, 
Thy honorable metal may be wrought 
From that it is dispos'd : therefore it is meet 
That noble minds keep ever with their likes ; 
For who so firm that cannot be seduc'd? 
Ceesar doth bear me hard ; but he loves Brutus : 
If I were Brutus now and he were Cassius, 
He should not humor me.^ I will this night. 
In several hands,^ in at his windows throw. 
As if they came from several citizens. 
Writings all tending to the great opinion 
That Rome holds of his name ; wherein obscurely 
Csesar's ambition shall be glanced at : 
And after this let Caesar seat him sure ;^ 
For we will shake him, or worse days endure. [Exit. 

1 " He should not humor me," i.e., he should not influence me by his 

2 Handwritings. 

3 " Seat him sure," i.e., seat himself securely; look out for himself. 


Scene III. The Same. A Street. j 

Thunder mid lightning. Enter, from opposite sides, Casca, with his sword \ 
drawn, and CiCERO. ' : 

Cicero. Good even, Casca : brought you Caesar home ? i 

Why are you breathless? and why stare you so? j 

Casca. Are not you mov'd, when all the sway of earth 2 

Shakes like a thing unfirm? O Cicero, ] 

I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds ■ 

Have riv'd the knotty oaks, and I have seen ": 

The ambitious ocean swell and rage and foam, , 

To be exalted with the threat'ning clouds : j 

But never till to-night, never till now, > 

Did I go through a tempest dropping fire. -; 
Either there is a civil strife in heaven. 

Or else the world, too saucy with the gods, ;■ 

Incenses them to send destruction. i 

Cicero. Why, saw you anything more wonderful? ;■ 

Casca. A common slave — you know him well by sight — 

Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn i 

Like twenty torches join'd, and yet his hand, •• 
Not sensible of fire, remain'd unscorch'd. 
Besides — I ha' not since put up my sword — 
Against the Capitol I met a lion, 

Who glar'd upon me, and went surly by, ! 

Without annoying me : and there were drawn \ 

Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women, , 

Transformed with their fear ; who swore they saw ■ 
Men all in fire walk up and down the streets. 

And yesterday the bird 3 of night did sit ! 

1 "Brought you Caesar home?" i.e., did you accompany Caesar to his j 
house? " Bring," in this sense, is not uncommon with Shakespeare. ^-I 

2 " The sway of earth," i.e., the steady movement of the earth. ) 

3 The appearance of the owl at noon-day would be regarded as especially \ 
ominous by the Romans, who had great horror of the "obscure" bird. ] 


Even at noon-day upon the market-place, 
Hooting and shrieking. When these prodigies 
Do so conjointly meet, let not men say 
"These are their reasons ; they are natural;" 
For, I believe, they are portentous things 
Unto the climate ^ that they point upon. 
, Cicero. Indeed, it is a strange-disposed ^ time: 
But men may construe things after their fashion, 
Clean 3 from the purpose of the things themselves. 
Comes Caesar to the Capitol to-morrow? 

Casca. He doth ; for he did bid Antonius 
Send word to you he Avould be there to-morrow. 

Cicero. Good night, then, Casca : this disturbed sky 
Is not to walk in.^ 

Casca. Farewell, Cicero. \Exit Cicero. 

Enter Cassius. 

Cassius. Who's there? 
Casca. A Roman. 

Cassius. Casca, by your voice. 

Casca. Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is this ! ^ 
Cassius. A very pleasing night to honest men. 
Casca. Who ever knew the heavens menace so? 
Cassius. Those that have known the earth so full of faults. 
For my part, I have walk'd about the streets, 

1 Region. Originally climate meant a belt of the earth's surface contained 
within two given parallels of latitude; then a region of the earth; and 
nowadays the condition of a region as regards the weather, more especially 
as that weather affects human, animal, or vegetable life. 

2 Of a strange character. We should now use the adverb, and write 
" strangely-disposed." 

3 Quite ; so used in the Bible, and often in Shakespeare. 

* " This disturbed sky," etc., i.e., this kind of weather is not fit to walk in. 
5 " What night is this! " i.e., what anight is this! The poet often drops 
the indefinite article in exclamatory phrases. 


Submitting me unto the perilous night, ! 

And, thus unbraced, Casca, as you see, \ 

Have bar'd my bosom to the thunder-stone ; ^ \ 

And when the cross blue lightning seem'd to open '! 

The breast of heaven, I did present myself ,| 

Even in the aim and very flash of it. '■, 

Casca. But wherefore did you so much tempt the heavens? \ 
It is the part of men to fear and tremble, ; 

When the most mighty gods by tokens send \ 

Such dreadful heralds to astonish us. J 

Cassius. You are dull, Casca, and those sparks of life : 

That should be in a Roman you do want, 

Or else you use not. You look pale and gaze 

And put on fear and cast yourself in wonder, : 

To see the strange impatience of the heavens : 

But if you would consider the true cause ' , 

Why all these fires, why all these ghding ghosts, ' 

Why birds and beasts from quality and kind,^ ": 

Why old men fool and children calculate. 

Why all these things change from their ordinance 

Their natures and preformed faculties^ 

To monstrous quality, — why, you shall find 

That heaven hath infus'd them with these spirits, j 

To make them instruments of fear and warning ; 

Unto some monstrous state. ^ j 

Now could I, Casca, name to thee a man ' 

Most like this dreadful night, • 

That thunders, hghtens, opens graves, and roars 1 

As doth the lion 5 in the Capitol, \ 

1 Thunderbolt. 

2 " From quality and kind," i.e., contrary to the disposition and nature. I 
^ " From their ordinance," etc., i.e., from their ordinary course, their na- : 

tures and their original or natural faculties, to monstrous or unnatural uses. i 
* " Monstrous state," i.e., unnatural condition of things. j 

5 Cassius refers to Csesar as the lion. i 



A man no mightier than thyself or me 
In personal action, yet prodigious ^ grown 
And fearful, as these strange eruptions are. 

Casca. 'Tis Caesar that you mean ; is it not, Cassius? 

Cassms. Let it be who it is : for Romans now 
Have thews and limbs like to their ancestors ; 
But, woe the while ! "^ our fathers' minds are dead. 
And we are govern' d with our mothers' spirits; 
Our yoke and sufferance ^ show us womanish. 

Casca. Indeed, they say the senators to-morrow 
Mean to establish Csesar as a king ; 
And he shall wear his crown by sea and land. 
In every place, save here in Italy. 

Cassms. I know where I will wear this dagger then ; 
Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius : . 
Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong ; 
Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat : 
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass. 
Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, 
Can be retentive* to the strength of spirit; 
But life, being weary of these worldly bars. 
Never lacks power ^ to dismiss itself. 
If I know this, know all the world besides. 
That part of tyranny that I do bear 
I can shake off at pleasure. . \Thunder still. 

Casca. So can I : 

So every bondman in his own hand bears 
The power to cancel his captivity. 

Cassius. And why should Caesar be a tyrant then? 

' Monstrous. 

2 " Woe the while!" i.e., alas, for the time! 

3 " Our yoke and suiTerance," i.e., the patient endurance with which we 
bear our wrongs. 

* Can confine or retain. 

5 "Power " has two syllables here : a few lines below it is a monosyllable. 


Poor man! I know he would not be a wolf, 

But that he sees the Romans are but sheep : 

He were no lion, were not Romans hinds. ' 

Those that with haste will make a mighty fire 

Begin it with weak straws : what trash is Rome, 

What rubbish and what offal, when it serves 

For the base matter to illuminate 

So vile a thing as Caesar! But, O grief. 

Where hast thou led me? I perhaps speak this 

Before a willing bondman ; then I know 

My answer must be made.^ But I am arm'd. 

And dangers are to me iridifferent.^ 

Casca. You speak to Casca, and to such a man 
That is no fleering tell-tale. Hold, my hand : 
Be factious for redress of all these griefs,^ 
And I will set this foot of mine as far 
As who goes farthest. 

Cassius. There's a bargain made. 

Now know you, Casca, I have mov'd already 
Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans 
To undergo with me an enterprise 
Of honorable-dangerous* consequence; 
And I do know, by this,^ they stay for me 
In Pompey's porch r^ for noAV, this fearful night, 
There is no stir or walking in the streets ; 

1 "My answer must be made," i.e., I shall be held to answer for my 

2 "Dangers are to me indifferent," i.e., dangers are not considered by me. 

3 Grievances. 

4 Honorably dangerous. We often find double adjectives in Shake- 

5 By this time. 

6 Pompey's theater was a magnificent marble structure built by him near 
the Campus Martius, and in one of the porches about it was a statue erected 
by the city in his honor. According to Plutarch, it was in this theater, not 
in the Capitol, that Caesar was assassinated. 


And the complexion of the element ^ 

In favor 's like the work we have in hand, 

Most bloody, fiery, and most temble. 

Casca. Stand close awhile, for here comes one in haste. 

Cassius. 'Tis Cinna ; I do know him by his gait ; 
He is a friend. 

Enter CiNNA. 

Cinna, where haste you so? 

Cinna. To find out you. Who's that? Metellus Cimber? 

Cassius. No, it is Casca; one incorporate ^ 
To our attempts. Am I not stay'd for,^ Cinna? 

Cinna. I am glad on't.* What a fearful night is this! 
There's two or three of us have seen strange sights. 

Cassius. Am I not stay'd for? tell me. 

Cinna. Yes, you are. 

O Cassius, if you could 
But win the noble Brutus to our party — 

Cassius. Be you content : good Cinna, take this paper, 
And look you lay it in the praetor's chair,^ 
Where Brutus may but find it ; and throw this 
In at his window ; set this up with wax 
Upon old Brutus' statue : all this done. 
Repair to Pompey's porch, where you shall find us. 
Is Decius Brutus and Trebonius there? 

Cinna. All but Metellus Cimber; and he's gone 
To seek you at your house. Well, I will hie,^ 
And so bestow these papers as you bade me. 

* The sky. 

2 "One incorporate to our attempts," i.e., one united with us in our 

3 "Am I not stay'd for?" i.e., are our associates not waiting for me? 

* "I am glad on't " is in answer to what Cassius says of Casca. " On't " 
for " of it," though discarded in literature, still survives as a provincialism. 

5 Brutus's chair of office. Csesar had made him prsetor, a kind of mayor 
or city judge. 6 Hasten. 

40 SHAKESPEARE, [act ii. 

Cassius. That done, repair to Pompey's theater. [Exit Cinna. 
Come, Casca, you and I will yet ere day 
See Brutus at his house : three parts of him 
Is ours already, and the man entire 
Upon the next encounter yields him ours. 

Casca. O, he sits high in all the people's hearts : 
And that which would appear offense in us. 
His countenance, like richest alchemy,^ 
Will change to virtue and to worthiness. 

Cassius. Him and his worth and our great need of him 
You have right well conceited.^ Let us go, 
For it is after midnight ; . and ere day 
We will awake him and be sure of him. \Exeunt. 


Scene I. Rome. Brutus's Orchard. 

Enter Brutus. 

Brutus. What, Lucius, ho! 
I cannot, by the progress of the stars. 
Give guess how near to day. Lucius, I say! 
I would it were my fault to sleep so soundly. 
When,'^ Lucius, when? awake, I say! what,^ Lucius! 

Enter Lucius. 

Lucius. Call'd you, my lord? 
Brutus. Get me a taper in my study, Lucius : 
When it is lighted, come and call me here. 

Lucius. I will, my lord. \Exit. 

1 The ancient science, or supposed science, of transmuting base metals to 

2 Estimated. 

3 Exclamation of impatience often used by old dramatists. 


Brutus. It must be by his death : ^ and for my part, 
I know no personal cause to spurn at him, 
But for the general.^ He would be crown'd : 
How that might change his nature, there's the question. 
It is the bright day that brings forth the adder ; 
And that craves wary walking. Crown him? — that ;3— . 
And then, I grant, we put a sting in him, 
That at his will he may do danger* with. 
The abuse of greatness is, when it disjoins 
Remorse ^ from power : and, to speak truth of Caesar, 
I have not known when his affections sway'd^ 
More than his reason. But 'tis a common proof,'^ 
That lowliness is young ambition's ladder. 
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face ; 
But when he once attains the upmost round, 
He then unto the ladder turns his back, 
Looks iri the clouds, scorning the base degrees 
By which he did ascend. So Caesar may. 
Then, lest he may, prevent. And, since the quarrel 
Will bear no color for the thing he is,^ 
Fashion it thus;^ that what he is, augmented. 
Would run to these and these extremities : 
And therefore think him as a serpent's egg 

1 " It must be by his death," i.e., it is only by Caesar's death that Roms 
can be secured in her freedom, now imperiled by his ambition. 

2 The general cause, i.e., the commonwealth; the public. 

3 " Crown him? — that; " i.e., (deliberatively), yes, that is the danger to 
be feared. 

4 Mischief. 

5 Compassion; pity. 

6 " When his affections sway'd," etc., i.e., when his passions were not 
controlled by his reason. 

■? " Common proof," i.e., what commonly proves to be the case. 

* " Since the quarrel," etc., i.e., since we have no plausible cause of com- 
plaint against him as he is. 

* " Fashion it thus," i.e., put it in this shape. 

42 SHAKESPEARE. [act n. 

Which, hatch'd, would, as his kind, grow mischievous, 
And kill him in the shell. 

Reenter LuciUS. 

Lucius. The taper burneth in your closet, sir. 
Searching the window for a flint, I found 
This paper, thus seal'd up ; and, I am siure, 
It did not lie there when I went to bed. \Gives him the letter. 

Brutus. Get you to bed again ; it is not day. 
Is not to-morrow, boy, the Ides of March? 

Lucius. I know not, sir. 

Brutus. Look in the calendar, and bring me word. 

Lucius. I will, sir. \Exit. 

Brutus. The exhalations^ whizzing in the air 
Give so much light that I may read by them. 

[ Opens the letter and reads, 
" Brutus, thou sleefst : awake, and see thyself. 
Shall Ronie, etc. Speak, strike, redress / " 
" Brutus, thou sleep'st : awake!" 
Such instigations have been often dropp'd 
Where I have took them up. 
" Shall Rome, etc." Thus must I piece it out : 
Shall Rome stand under one man's awe? What, Rome? 
My ancestors did from the streets of Rome 
The Tarquin drive, when he was call'd a king. 
"Speak, strike, redress!" Am I entreated 
To speak and strike? O Rome, I make thee promise ;2 
If the redress will follow, thou receivest 
Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus! 

Reenter Lucius. 
Lucius. Sir, March is wasted fourteen days. [Xnocki?ig within. 

1 This refers to meteors or the flashes of lightning. 

2 " I make thee promise," i.e., I promise thee. 


Brutus. 'Tis good. Go to the gate ; somebody knocks. ; 

\Exit Lucius. i 

Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar, ' 

I have not slept. \ 

Between the acting of a dreadful thing ■ 

And the first motion,^ all the interim is | 

Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream : \ 

The Genius and the mortal instruments ^ j 

Are then in council ; and the state of man, | 

Like to a little kingdom, suffers then ; 
The nature of an insurrection. 

Reenter Lucius. ; 

Lucius. Sir, 'tis your brother ^ Cassius at the door, I 

Who doth desire to see you. ; 

Brutus. Is he alone? ; 

Lucius. No, sir, there are more with him. 

Brutus. Do you know them? i 

Lucius. No, sir; their hats are pluck'd about their ears, ■ 

And half their faces buried in their cloaks, ; 

That by no means I may discover them | 

By any mark of favor. ] 

Brutus. Let 'em enter. \Eodt Lucius. ^ 

They are the faction. O conspiracy, : 

Sham'st thou* to show thy dang'rous brow by night, \ 
When evils are most free? O, then by day 

Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough | 

To mask thy monstrous visage? Seek none, conspiracy ; ; 

Hide it in smiles and affability : ] 


1 " First motion," i.e., first movement of the mind; inception. ' 

2 "The Genius and the mortal instruments," i.e., the controUing spirit | 
or reasonable soul, and the bodily powers or instruments through which it j 
works. ■' 

3 Cassius was a brother-in-law of Brutus, having married Junia, his sister. 
* " Sham'st thou," i.e., art thou ashamed? 

44 SHAKESPEARE. [act ii. 

For if thou hast thy native semblance on, 
Not Erebus 1 itself were dim enough 
To hide thee from prevention.^ 

Enter the conspirators, Cassius, Casca, Decius, Cinna, Metellus 
CiMBER, and Trebonius. 

Cassius. I think we are too bold upon your rest : 
Good morrow, Brutus; do we trouble you? 

Brutus. I have been up this hour, awake all night. 
Know I these men that come along with you? 

Cassius. Yes, every man of them, and no man here 
But honors you ; and every one doth wish 
You had but that opinion of yourself 
Which every noble Roman bears of you. 
This is Trebonius. 

Brutus. He is welcome hither. 

Cassius. This, Decius Brutus.^ 

Brutus. He is welcome too. 

Cassius. Tliis, Casca ; this, Cinna ; and this, Metellus Cimber. 

Brutus. They are all welcome. 
What watchful cares do interpose themselves 
Betwixt your eyes and night? 

Cassius. Shall 1 entreat a word? \Brutus and Cassius whisper. 

Decius. Here lies the east: doth not the day break here? 

Casca. No. 

Cinna. O, pardon, sir, it doth ; and yon gray lines 
That fret* the clouds are messengers of day. 

Casca. You shall confess that you are both deceiv'd. 

1 In classical mythology, Erebus is the dark and gloomy space under the 
earth, through which the shades pass into Hades. 

2 From being detected and frustrated. 

3 Decius, or rather Decimus Brutus, not Marcus, was the favorite of 
Csesar, and was named in his will as second heir. These Brutuses were 

* Interlace or cross-bar. 


Here, as I point my sword, the sun arises, 
Which is a great way growing on the south. 
Weighing the youthful season of the year.^ 
Some two months hence up higher toward the north 
He first presents his fire ; and the high east 
Stands, as the Capitol, directly here. 

Brutus. Give me your hands all over, one by one. 

Cassius. And let us swear oiu" resolution. 

Brutus. No, not an oath : if not the face of men. 
The sufferance 2 of our souls, the time's abuse, — 
If these be motives weak, break off betimes, 
And every man hence to his idle bed ; 
So let high-sighted tyranny ^ range on, 
Till each man drop by lottery.'*^ But if these,5 
As I am sure they do, bear fire enough 
To kindle cowards and to steel with valor 
The melting spirits of women, then, countrymen, 
What need we any spur but our own cause. 
To prick us to redress? what other bond 
Than secret Romans, that have spoke the word, 
And will not palter? and what other oath 
Than honesty to honesty engag'd. 
That this shall be, or we will fall for it? 
Swear priests and cowards and men cautelous, 
Old feeble carrions and such suffering souls 
That welcome wrongs ; unto bad causes swear 
Such creatures as men doubt ; but do not stain 
The even virtue of our enterprise, 
Nor th' insuppressive mettle of our spirits, 

1 " Growing on the south," etc., i.e., encroaching on or verging towards 
by reason of the early season of the year, March 15. 

2 Suffering. 

3 " High-sighted tyranny," i.e., tyranny with haughty, overbearing looks. 
* " Till each man drop by lottery," i.e., fall as death may chance to each. 
5 These motives. 


To think that or^ our cause or our performance 

Did need an oath ; when every drop of blood 

That every Roman bears, and nobly bears, 

Is guilty of a several bastardy. 

If he do break the smallest particle 

Of any promise that hath pass'd from him. 

Cassius. But what of Cicero? shall we sound him? 
I think he will stand very strong with us. 

Casca. Let us not leave him out. 

Cinna. No, by no means. 

Metelhis. O, let us have him, for his silver hairs 
Will purchase us a good opinion 
And buy men's voices to commend our deeds : 
It shall be said, his judgment rul'd our hands ; 
Our youths and wildness shall no whit appear. 
But all be buried in his gravity. 

Brutus. O, name him not : let us not break with 2 him ; 
For he will never follow anything 
That other men begin. 

Cassius. Then leave him out. 

Casca. Indeed he is not fit. 

Decius. Shall no man else be touch'd but only Csesar? 

Cassius. Decius, well urg'd : I think it is not meet, 
Mark Antony, so well belov'd of Csesar, 
Should outlive Caesar : we shall find of him 
A shrewd contriver ; and, you know, his means. 
If he improve them, may well stretch so far 
As to annoy us all : which to prevent. 
Let Antony and Caesar fall together. 

Brutus. Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius, 
To cut the head off and then hack the limbs, 

1 "Or" for "either," in phrases like this, is common in all English 

2 " Break with," i.e., break the matter to; that is, let us not make known 
our design to him. 


Like wrath in death and envy ^ afterwards ; 
For Antony is but a Umb of Csesar : 
Let us be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius. 
We all stand up against the spirit of Csesar ; 
And in the spirit of men there is no blood : 
O, that we then could come by 2 Caesar's spirit, 
And not dismember Caesar! But, alas, 
.Caesar must bleed for it! And, gentle friends. 
Let's kill him boldly, but not wrathfully ; 
Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods, 
Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds : 
And let our hearts, as subtle masters do, 
Stir up their servants to an act of rage. 
And after seem to chide 'em. This shall make 
Our purpose necessary and not envious : ^ 
Which so appearing to the common eyes. 
We shall be call'd purgers, not murderers. 
And for Mark Antony, think not of him ; 
For he can do no more than Caesar's arm 
When Caesar's head is off. 

Cassius. Yet I fear him ; 

For in the ingrafted love he bears to Caesar — 

Brutus. Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him : 
If he love Caesar, all that he can do 
Is to himself, take thought and die for Caesar : 
And that were much he should ; * for he is given 
To sports, to wildness and much company. 

Trebonius. There is no fear in him ;5 let him not die ; 
For he will live, and laugh at this hereafter. \Clock strikes. 

1 Malice. 

2 " Come by," i.e., get possession of. 

3 Malicious. 

* " Take thought," etc., i.e., give way to sorrow, and die for Caesar; and 
that would be much should he do so. 

5 " No fear in him," i.e., nothing to fear from him. 

48 SHAKESPEARE. [act ii. 

Brutus. Peace! count the clock. ^ 

Cassius. The clock hath stricken ^ three. 

Trebonius. 'Tis time to part. 

Cassius. But it is doubtful yet, 

Whether Caesar will come forth to-day, or no ; 
For he is superstitious grown of late. 
Quite from the main opinion he held once 
Of fantasy, of dreams and ceremonies : ^ 
It may be, these apparent prodigies, 
The unaccustom'd terror of this night. 
And the persuasion of his augurers, 
May hold him from the Capitol to-day. 

Decius. Never fear that : if he be so resolv'd, 
I can o'ersway him ; for he loves to hear 
That unicorns * may be betray'd with trees, 
And bears with glasses, elephants with holes. 
Lions with toils ^ and men with flatterers ; 
But when I tell him he hates flatterers, 
He says he does, being then most flattered. 
Let me work ; 

For I can give his humor the true bent. 
And I will bring him to the Capitol. 

1 A striking clock in Cffisar's time is an anachronism, but was a " taking 
thing" with an audience in Shakespeare's day. Of both these facts the poet 
was undoubtedly well advised when he gave this speech to Brutus. 

2 We find in Shakespeare " stricken," " strucken," and " stroken," as well 
as " struck" (the participle form still in use). 

3 Omens or signs derived from sacrifices and other ceremonial rites. 

4 "Unicorns are said to have been taken by one who, running behind a 
tree, eluded the violent push the animal was making at him, so that his horn 
spent its force in the trunk, and stuck fast, detaining the beast till he was 
dispatched by the hunter." The bear will generally stop to examine anything 
thrown in its way ; hence, by placing a mirror in its path the hunter made 
opportunity for a surer aim while Bruin was gazing in the glass. Elephants 
were captured by means of pitfalls lightly covered with branches and turf, 
tempting bait being placed on them to entice the animals. 

^ Nets ; snares. 


Cassius. Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him. 

Brutus. By the eighth hour : is that the uttermost? 

Cinna. Be that the uttermost, and fail not then. 

Metellus. Caius Ligarius doth bear Csesar hard, 
Who rated him for speaking well of Pompey : 
I wonder none of you have thought of him. 

Brutus, Now, good Metellus, go along by him:i 
He loves me well, and I have given him reasons ; 
Send him but hither, and I'll fashion him. 

Cassius. The morqing comes upon's : ^ we'll leave you, Brutus. 
And, friends, disperse yourselves ; but all remember 
What you have said, and show yourselves true Romans. 

Brutus. Good gentlemen, look fresh and merrily ; 
Let not our looks put on ^ our purposes, 
But bear it as our Roman actors do. 
With untir'd spirits and formal constancy : 

And so good morrow to you every one. \Exeunt all but Brutus. 
Boy! Lucius! Fast asleep? It is no matter ; 
Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber : * 
Thou hast no figures nor no fantasies. 
Which busy care draws in the brains of men ; 
Therefore thou sleep'st so sound. 

Ente7' Portia. 

Portia. Brutus, my lord! 

Brutus. Portia, what mean you? wherefore rise you now? 
It is not for your health thus to commit 
Your weak condition to the raw cold morning. 

Portia. Nor for yours neither. You've ungently, Brutus, 
Stole from my bed : and yesternight, at supper, 
You suddenly arose, and walk'd about, 

1 " By him," i.e., by his house. 

2 Upon us. 3 " Put on," i.e., betray. 

^ ' Honey-heavy," etc., i.e., sweet, sound slumber of youth. 


Musing and sighing, with your arms across, 

And when I ask'd you what the matter was, 

You star'd upon me with ungentle looks ; 

I urg'd you further ; then you scratch'd your head, 

And too impatiently stamp'd with your foot ; 

Yet I insisted, yet you answer'd not. 

But, with an angry wafture of your hand, 

Gave sign for me to leave you : so I did ; 

Fearing to strengthen that impatience 

Which seem'd too much enkindled, and withal 

Hoping it was but an effect of humor. 

Which sometime hath his Tiour with every man. 

It will not let you eat, nor talk, nor sleep. 

And could it work so much upon your shape 

As it hath much prevail'd on your condition, 

I should not know you, Brutus. Dear my lord, 

Make me acquainted with your cause of grief. 

Brutus. I am not well in health, and that is all. 

Portia. Brutus is wise, and, were he not in health. 
He would embrace the" means to come by it. 

Brutus. Why, so I do. Good Portia, go to bed. 

Portia. Is Brutus sick? and is it physical ^ 
To walk unbrac'd and suck up the humors 
Of the dank morning? What, is Brutus sick, 
And will he steal out of his wholesome bed, 
To dare the vile contagion of the night 
And tempt the rheumy and unpurged air 
To add unto his sickness? No, my Brutus; 
You have some sick offense within youi* mind, 
Which, by the right and virtue of my place, 
I ought to know of: and, upon my knees, 
I charm ^ you, by my once-commended beauty. 
By all your vows of love and that great vow 
Which did incorporate and make us one 

1 Wholesome; medicinal. ^ Adjure. 


That you unfold to me, yourself, your half, 
Why you are heavy,^ and what men to-night 
Have had resort to you : for here have been 
Some six or seven, who did hide their faces 
Even from darkness. 

Brutus. Kneel not, gentle Portia. 

Portia. I should not need, if you were gentle Brutus. 
Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus, 
Is it excepted I should know no secrets 
That appertain to you? Am I yourself 
But, as it were, in sort or hmitation, 
To keep with you at meals, comfort your home, 
And talk to you sometimes? 

Brutus. You are my true and honorable wife, 
As dear to me as are the ruddy drops 
That visit my sad heart. 

Portia. If this were true, then should I know this secret. 
I grant I am a woman ; but withal 
A woman that Lord Brutus took to wife : 
I grant I am a woman ; but withal 
A woman well-reputed, Cato's daughter. 
Think you I am no stronger than my sex. 
Being so father'd and so husbanded? 
Tell me your counsels, I will not disclose 'em : 
I have made strong proof of my constancy, ^ 
Giving myself a voluntary wound 
Here, in the thigh : can I bear that with patience, 
And not my husband's secrets? 

Brutus. O ye gods, 

Render me worthy of this noble wife ! \Knocking within. 

Hark, hark! one knocks: Portia, go in awhile; 
And by and by thy bosom shall partake 
The secrets of my heart. 
All my engagements I will construe to thee, 

1 Heavy at heart. 2 Endurance. 

S2 SHAKESPEARE. [act ii. '■• 

All the charactery- of my sad brows : 

Leave me with haste. \Exit Portia. 

Reenter Lucius with LiGARius. \ 


Lucius, who's that knocks? j 

Lucius. Here is a sick man that would speak with you. : 

Brutus. Caius Ligarius, that Metellus spake of. i 

Boy, stand aside. Caius Ligarius ! how ? i ; 

Ligarius. Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble tongue. ; 

Brutus. O, what a time have you chose out, brave Caius, , 

To wear a kerchief! ^ Would you were not sick! 

Ligarius. I am not sick, if Brutus have in hand , 

Any exploit worthy the name of honor. ■ 

Brutu-s. Such an exploit have I in hand, Ligarius, i 

Had you a healthful ear to hear of it. , 

Ligarius. By all the gods that Romans bow before, | 

I here discard my sickness! Soul of Rome! .■ 

Brave son, deriv'd from honorable loins! 1 

Thou, like an exorcist, hast conjur'd up 

My mortified spirit. Now bid me run, \ 

And I will strive with things impossible ; ] 

Yea, get the better of them. What's to do? j 

Brutus. A piece of work that will make sick men whole. ' 
Ligarius. But are not some whole that we must make sick? \ 

Brutus. That must we also. What it is, my Caius, j 

I shall unfold to thee, as we are going ■ 

To whom it must be done. 

Ligarius. Set on your foot,^ ; 

And with a heart new-fir'd I follow you, \ 

^ An exclamation of surprise and disappointment as Ligarius appeared | 
with a kerchief on his head. I 

2 It was a common practice in England for the sick to tie a kerchief round | 
the head. Shakespeare gives to Romans the customs as well as the costumes ; 
of his own time and people. 

3 " Set on your foot," i,e.^ lead on. 


To do I know not what : but it sufficeth 
That Brutus leads me on. 

Brutus. Follow me, then. \Exeunt. 

Scene II. Ccesar's House. 

Thunder and lightning. Enter C^SAR, in his night-gown.'^ 

Ccesar. Nor heaven nor earth have been at peace to-night : 
Thrice hath Calpurnia in her sleep cried out, 
"Help, ho! they murder Csesar!" Who's within? 

Enter a Servant. 

Servant. My lord? 

Ccssar. Go bid the priests do present ^ sacrifice 
And bring me their opinions of success.^ 

Servant. I will, my lord. . \Exit 

Enter Calpurnia. 

Calpurnia. What mean you, Caesar? think you to walk forth!: 
You shall not stir out of your house to-day. 

CcBsar. Caesar shall forth : the things that threaten'd me 
Ne'er look'd but on my back ; when they shall see 
The face of Caesar, they are vanished. 

Calpurnia. Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies,* 
Yet now they fright me. There is one within, 
Besides the things that we have heard and seen. 
Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch. 
A lioness hath whelped in the streets ; 
And graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their dead; 

1 Dressing-gown. 2 Immediate. 

3 " Opinions of success," i.e., opinions as to the issue. In Shakespeare, 
" success " often has the meaning of " result " simply, and is qualified by an 
adjective, — " good," " bad," or the like. 

* "Never stood on ceremonies," i.e., never regarded omens and religious 

54 SHAKESPEARE. [act ii. 

Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds, 
In ranks and squadrons and right form of war, 
Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol ; 
The noise of battle hurtled ^ in the air, 
Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan. 
And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets. 
O Caesar! these things are beyond all use,^ 
And I do fear them. 

Ccesar. What can be avoided 

Whose end is purposed by the mighty gods? 
Yet Caesar shall go forth ; for these predictions 
Are to the world in general as^ to Caesar. 

Calpurnia. When beggars die, there are no comets seen ; 
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes. 

Ccesar. -Cowards die many times before their deaths;* 
The valiant never taste of death but once. 
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, 
It seems to me most strange that men should fear ; 
Seeing that death, a necessary end, 
Will come when it will come. 

Reenter Servant. 

What say the augurers? 
Servant. They would not have you to stir forth to-day. 
Plucking the entrails of an offering forth, 
They could not find a heart within the beast. ^ 

1 Clashed, as in the din of a conflict. 

2 " Beyond all use," i.e., more than is usual. 

3 As much as. 

* Plutarch says of Csesar, " When some of his friends did counsel him to 
have a guard for the safety of his person, and some did oiTer themselves to 
serve him, he would never consent to it, but said it was better to die once 
than always to be afraid of death." 

5 The signs mainly observed by the soothsayers in the oblations were the 
manner in which the victim approached the altar, the nature and appearance 
of the intestines, and the color, shape, and direction of the flame which con- 


Ccesar. The gods do this in shame of cowardice -.^ 
Cassar should 2 be a beast without a heart, 
If he should stay at home to-day for fear. 
No, Cassar shall not : danger knows full well 
That Caesar is more dangerous than he : 
We are two lions litter'd in one day, 
And I the elder and more terrible : 
And Caesar shall go forth. 

Calpuniia. Alas, my lord. 

Your wisdom is consum'd in confidence. 
Do not go forth to-day : call it my fear 
That keeps you in the house, and not your own. 
We'll send Mark Antony to the senate-house ; 
And he shall say you are not well to-day : 
Let me, upon my knee, prevail in this. 

Ccesar. Mark Antony shall say I am not well ; 
And, for thy humor, I will stay at home. 

Enter Decius. 

Here's Decius Brutus, he shall tell them so. 

Decius. Caesar, all hail! good morrow, worthy Caesar: 
I come to fetch you to the senate-house. 

Cczsar. And you are come in very happy time, 
To bear my greeting to the senators 
And tell them that I will not come to-day : 
Cannot, is false, and that I dare not, falser : 
I will not come to-day : tell them so, Decius. 

Calpurnia. Say he is sick. 

Ccesar. Shall Caesar send a he? 

Have I in conquest stretch'd mine arm so far. 
To be afeard to tell graybeards the truth? 
Decius, go tell them Caesar will not come. 

sumed the sacrifice. That the animal should be without a heart would of 
course be looked upon as highly portentous. 

1 " In shame," etc., i.e., to put cowardice to shame. 2 Would. 

5b SHAKESPEARE. [act ii. j 

Decius. Most mighty Caesar, let me know some cause, ; 

Lest I be laugh'd at when I tell them so. | 

CcEsar. The cause is in my will : I will not come ; ; 

That is enough to satisfy the senate.- \ 

But for your private satisfaction, \ 
Because I love you, I will let you know : 
Calpurnia here, my wife, stays ^ me at home : 

She dreamt to-night she saw my statua,^ | 

Which, like a fountain with an hundred spouts, ' 

Did run pure blood ; and many lusty Romans j 
Came smiling, and did bathe their hands in it : 

And these does she apply' for warnings, and portents, | 

And evils imminent ; and on her knee \ 

Hath begg'd that I will stay at home to-day. j 

Decius. . This dream is all amiss interpreted ; ■ 

It was a vision fair and fortunate : ; 
Your statue spouting blood in many pipes, 

In which so many smiling Romans bath'd, ' 
Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck 
Reviving blood, and that great men shall press 

For tinctures,^ stains, relics and cognizance.* I 

This by Calpurnia's dream is signified. i 

Ccesar. And this way have you well expounded it. i 

Decius. I have, when you have heard what I can say : 

And know it now : the senate have concluded I 
To give this day a crown to mighty Caesar. 

If you shall send them word you will not come, i 


1 Detains. \ 

2 In Shakespeare's time " statue" was often pronounced as a trisyllable; 
and, when it has this metrical value in his verse, it is convenient to spell the 
word with a final a. 

3 Referring to the blood of martyrs, with which handkerchiefs were stained i 
and preserved as salutary memorials. I 

4 Cognizances ; distinguishing badges and devices in heraldry. Great i 
men would wear handkerchiefs dipped in Cesar's blood to indicate that they \ 
were his followers. ! 


Their minds may change. Besides, it were a mock '■ 

Apt to be render'd, for some one to say ^ \ 

" Break up the senate till another time, i 

When Caesar's wife shall meet with better dreams." -> 

If Caesar hide himself, shall they not whisper i 

" Lo, Caesar is afraid"? i 

Pardon me, Caesar ; for my dear dear love ^ 

To your proceeding ^ bids me tell you this ; ! 

And reason to my love is hable.^ ; 

Ccesar. How foolish do your fears seem now, Calpurnia! | 
I am ashamed I did yield to them. 

Give me my robe, for I will go. ; 

£nier PuBLius, Brutus, Ligarius, Metellus, Casca, Trebonius, : 

a/zd CiNNA. I : 

And look where Publius is come to fetch me. s 

Piiblius. Good morrow, Caesar. 1 

Ccesar. Welcome, Publius. i 
What, Brutus, are you stirr'd so early too? 

Good morrow, Casca. Caius Ligarius, j 

Caesar was ne'er so much your enemy " j 

As that same ague which hath made you lean. ■ 

What is't o'clock? 5 

Brutus. Caesar, 'tis strucken ^ eight. \ 

Ccesar. I thank you for your pains and courtesy. : 

Enter Antony. ' 


See ! Antony, that revels long o' nights, ' 

Is notwithstanding up. Good morrow, Antony. \ 


1 " It were a mock," etc., i.e., it were apt to be construed as a mockery, ; 

if some one should say, etc. ] 

2 Career. 

3 " Reason to my love is liable," i.e., reason, which would forbid naming 
fear in the same breath with Caesar, yields to my love. 

4 See Note 2, p. 48. 


Antony. So to most noble Caesar. 

CcBsar. Bid them prepare within : 

I am to blame to be thus waited for. 
Now, Cinna: now, Metellus : what, Trebonius! 
I have an hour's talk in store for you ; 
Remember that you call on me to-day: 
Be near me, that I may remember you. 

Trebonms. Caesar, I will : \Aside\ and so near will I be, 
That your best friends shall wish I had been further. 

Ccesar. Good friends, go in, and taste some wine with me ; 
And we, like friends, will straightway go together. 

Brutus, [Aside] That every hke is not the same,i O Caesar, 
The heart of Brutus yearns ^ to think upon! \Exeunt. 

' Scene III. A Street near the Capitol. 

Enter Artemidorus, reading a paper. 

Artemidorus. "Ccesar, beware of Bruttis; take heed of Cassius; 
cojue not near Casca; have an eye to Cinna; trust not Trebonius; 
mark well Metellus Ciniber : Decius Brutus loves thee not : thou 
hast wronged Caius Ligarius. There is but one mijid in all these 
men, and it is bent against Ccesar. If thou beest not immortal, 
look about you: security gives way to conspiracy? The mighty gods 
defend thee ! Thy lover, A r temid or us. ' ' 
Here will I stand till Caesar pass along, 
And as a suitor will I give him this. 
My heart laments that virtue cannot live 
Out of the teeth of emulation.^ 

1 "That every like," etc., i.e., that all things that resemble each other 
are not the same. 

2 Yearns in the sense of grieves. 

3 " Security gives way to conspiracy," i.e., unguardedness opens a vi^ay 
to conspiracy. 

4 Malicious rivalry. As now used, the word has a better meaning, and 
^aplies generous rivalry. 


If thou read this, O Caesar, thou mayst Hve ; 

If not, the Fates with traitors do contrive. \Exit. 

Scene IV. Another Fart of the Same Street, before the 
House of Brutus. 

Enter Portia and Lucius. 

Portia. I prithee, boy, run to the senate-house ; 
Stay not to answer me, but get thee gone : 
Why dost thou stay? 

Lucius. To know my errand, madam. 

Portia. I would have had thee there, and here again, 
Ere I can tell thee what thou shouldst do there. 

constancy,! be strong upon my side. 

Set a huge mountain 'tween my heart and tongue! 

1 have a man's mind, but a woman's might. 
How hard it is for women to keep counsel! 
Art thou here yet? 

Lucius. Madam, what should I do? 

Run to the Capitol, and nothing else? 
And so return to you, and nothing else? 

Portia. Yes, bring me word, boy, if thy lord look well, 
For he went sickly forth : and take good note 
What Caesar doth, what suitors press to him. 
Hark, boy! what noise is that? 

Lucius. I hear none, madam. 

Portia. Prithee, listen well ; 

I heard a bustling rumor, like a fray. 
And the wind brings it from the Capitol. 

Lucius. Sooth,2 madam, I hear nothing. 

1 Firmness. Brutus having confided to her the secret she desired to 
know, Portia is now fearful that in her agitation she will divulge it. While 
anxious for her husband's safety, she is affrighted by real or imaginary street 
noises, — the " bustling rumors " mentioned below. 

2 Truly. 

6o SHAKESPEARE. [act il. , j 

Entei' the Soothsayer. ' 

Portia. Come hither, fellow: which way hast thou been? , 

Soothsayer. At mine own house, good lady. I 

Portia. What is't o'clock? | 

Soothsayer. About the ninth hour, lady. ! 

Portia. Is Csesar yet gone to the Capitol? j 

Soothsayer. Madam, not yet : I go to take my stand, 1 

To see him pass on to the Capitol. ; 

Portia. Thou hast some suit to Csesar, hast thou not? -; 

Soothsayer. That I have, lady : if it will please Caesar 

To be so good to Csesar as to hear me, \ 

I shall beseech him to befriend himself. i 

Portia. Why, know'st thou any harm's intended towards him? ' 
Soothsayer. None that I know will be, much that I fear may 

chance. i 

Good morrow to you. Here the street is narrow : j 

The throng that follows Csesar at the heels, -i 

Of senators, of prsetors, common suitors. 

Will crowd a feeble man almost to death : 

I'll get me to a place more void,^ and there 

Speak to great Caesar as he comes along. \£xit. j 

Portia. I must go in. Ay me, how weak a thing I 

The heart of woman is! O Brutus, i 

The heavens speed thee in thine enterprise! 

[To herself]^ Sure, the boy heard me: [To Lucius]^ Brutus hath a 

suit j 

That Caesar will not grant. O, I grow faint. ' - i 

Run, Lucius, and commend me to my lord; j 

Say I am merry : 2 come to me again, \ 

And bring me word what he doth say to thee. [Exeunt severally. 

1 Empty. 

2 In good spirits ; not worrying. ' 



Scene I. Rome. Before the Capitol; the Senate sitting above. 

A crowd of people ; avioiig them Artemidorus and the Soothsayer. Flourish. 
Enter C^sar, Brutus, Cassius, Casca, Decius, Metellus, Tre- 
BONius, Cinna, Antony, Lepidus, Popilius, Publius, and others. 

CcBsar. [To the Soothsayer] The Ides of March are come. 

Soothsayer. Ay, Csesar ; but not gone. 

Artemidorus. Hail, Csesar! read this schedule. 

Decius. Trebonius doth desire you to o'er-read 
At your best leisure, this his humble suit. 

Artemidoj'us. O Caesar, read mine first ; for mine's a suit 
That touches Caesar nearer : read it, great Caesar. 

CcBsar. What touches us ourself shall be last serv'd.^ 

Artemidorus. Delay not, Caesar ; read it instantly. 

Ccesar. What, is the fellow mad? 

Publius. Sirrah, give place. ^ 

Cassius. What, urge you your petitions in the street? 
Come to the Capitol. 

C^SAR goes up to the Senate House, the rest following. 

Popilius. I wish your enterprise to-day may thrive. 

Cassius. What enterprise, Popilius? 

Popilius. Fare you well. 

[Advances to C(2sar. 

Brutus. What said Popilius Lena? 

Cassius. He wish'd to-day our enterprise might thrive. 
I fear our purpose is discovered. 

Brutus. Look, how he makes to Caesar: mark him. 

Cassius. Casca, be sudden, for we fear prevention. 
Brutus, what shall be done? If this be known, 

1 " Last serv'd," i.e., the last to have attention. 

2 " Give place," i.e., make way. 

62 SHAKESPEARE. [act hi. 

Cassius or Caesar never shall turn back, 
For I will slay myself, i 

Brutus. Cassius, be constant: 2 

Popilius Lena speaks not of our purposes ; 
For, look, he smiles, and Caesar doth not change.^ 

Cassius. Trebonius knows his time ; for, look you, Brutus, 
He draws Mark Antony out of the way. 

[^Exeunt Antony and Trebonius. 

Decius. Where is Metellus Cimber? Let him go. 
And presently prefer his suit to Caesar. 

Brutus. He is address'd : * press near and second him. 

Cin?ia. Casca, you are the first that rears your hand. 

Casca. Are we all ready? 

Ccesar. What is now amiss 
That Caesar and his senate must redress? 

Metellus. Most high, most mighty, and most puissant Caesar, 
Metellus Cimber throws before thy seat 
An humble heart — \ [Kneeling. 

CcBsar. I must prevent thee, Cimber. 

These couchings and these lowly courtesies 
Might fire the blood of ordinary men. 
And turn pre-ordinance and first decree 
Into the law of children.^ Be not fond 
To think 6 that Caesar bears such rebel blood 
That will be thaw'd from the true quality 
With that which melteth fools ; I mean, sweet words, 

1 " Cassius or Csesar," etc., i.e., either Cassius or Caesar never shall 
return alive, for I will kill him or slay myself. 

2 " Be constant," i.e., keep cool; be undisturbed. 

3 " Doth not change," i.e., doth not change the expression of his 

* Ready, 

5 " Turn pre-ordinance," etc., i.e., make that which has been ordered and 
decreed from the first as unstable as the laws made among themselves by 
( ^ " Be not fond," etc., i.e., be not so foolish as to think. 


Low-crooked court'sies and base spaniel-fawning. 

Thy brother by decree is banished : 

If thou dost bend and pray and fawn for him, 

I spurn thee hke a cur out of my way. 

Know, Csesar doth not wrong, nor without cause 

Will he be satisfied. 

Metelliis. Is there no voice more worthy than my own, 
To sound more sweetly in great Caesar's ear 
For the repealing of my banish'd brother? 

Brutus. I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Csesar ; 
Desiring thee that Publius Cimber may 
Have an immediate freedom of repeal. ^ 

CcBsar. What, Brutus! 

Cassius. Pardon, Caesar ; Caesar, pardon : 

As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall, 
To beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber. 

CcBsar. I could be well mov'd, if I were as you ; 
If I could pray to move,2 prayers would move me : 
But I am constant as the northern star, 
Of whose true-fix'd and resting quality 
There is no fellow in the firmament. 
The skies are painted with unnumber'd sparks, 
They are all fire .g-nd every one doth shine ; 
But there's but one in all doth hold his place : 
So in the world ; 'tis furnish'd well with men. 
And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive \^ 
Yet in the number I do know but one 
That unassailable holds on his rank, 
Unshak'd of motion : * and that I am he, 
Let me a little show it, even in this ; 

1 " Freedom of repeal," i.e., unconditional recall. 

2 " Pray to move," i.e., pray to move others. 

3 Having the faculty of apprehension. 

* " Unshak'd of motion," i.e., unshaken by motion; unmoved. 

64 SHAKESPEARE. [act hi. j 

That I was constant i Cimber should be banish'd, , 

And constant do remain to keep him so. i 

Cmna. O Csesar — ■ 

Casar. Hence! wilt thou lift up Olympus? ^ ! 

Decius. Great Csesar — ■ 
Ccesar. Doth not Brutus bootless kneel? 

Casca. Speak, hands, for me! i 

[Casca Ji?'st, then the other Conspirators and Marcus Brutus \ 

stab Ccesar. ■ 

Ccesar. Ettu, Brute !3 Then fall, Caesar! \Dies. -\ 
China. Liberty ! Freedom ! Tyranny is dead ! 

Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets. 

Cassius. Some to the common pulpits, and cry out j 

"Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement!" j 

BriUus, -People and senators, be not affrighted ; j 

Fly not ; stand still : ambition's debt is paid. \ 

Casca. Go to the pulpit, Brutus. j 

Decius. And Cassius too. ■ 

Brutus. Where's Publius? \ 

Cinna. Here, quite confounded with this mutiny. : 

Metellus. Stand fast together, lest some friend of Caesar's \ 

Should chance — 

Brufus. Talk not of standing. Publius, good cheer ; 

There is no harm intended to your person, \ 

Nor to no Roman else : so tell them, Publius. : 

Cassius. And leave us, Publius ; lest that the people, ' 

Rushing on us, should do your age some mischief. . 

Brutus. Do so : and let no man abide ^ this deed, i 

But we 5 the doers. 

1 Determined ; firmly resolved. 

2 A mountain of Greece, the mythological residence of the gods of the 1 
ancients. Its top was supposed to reach the heavens. j 

3 " Et tu, Brute! " i.e., and thou, Brutus! Brutus was Csesar's special j 
friend. \ 

i Bear the responsibility of. 5 We should now say " but tis." ; 


Reenter Trebonius. 

Cassius. Where is Antony? 

Trebonius. Fled to his house amaz'd : 
Men, wives and children stare, cry out and run 
As it 1 were doomsday. 

Brutus. Fates, we will know your pleasures : 

That we shall die, we know ; 'tis but the time 
And drawing days out, that men stand upon.^ 

Cassius. Why, he that cuts off twenty years of life 
Cuts off so many years of fearing death. 

Brutus. Grant that, and then is death a benefit : 
So are we Caesar's friends, that have abridg'd 
His time of fearing death. Stoop, Romans, stoop. 
And let us bathe our hands in Caesar's blood 
Up to the elbows, and besmear our swords : 
Then walk we forth, even to the market-place, 
And, waving our red weapons o'er our heads. 
Let's all cry "Peace, freedom and liberty!" 

Cassius. Stoop, then, and wash. How many ages hence 
Shall this our lofty scene be acted over 
In states unborn and accents yet unknown! 

Brutus. How many times shall Csesar bleed in sport, 
That now on Pompey's basis lies along ^ 
No worthier than the dust! 

Cassius. So oft as that shall be. 

So often shall the knot of us be call'd 
The men that gave their country liberty. 

Decius. What, shall we forth? 

Cassius. Ay, every man away : 

1 "As it," i.e., as if it. 

2 " Stand upon," i.e., are uncertain about. 

3 " Shall Csesar bleed in sport," etc., i.e., shall Csesar bleed on the stage, 
who now lies along the base of Pomp«y's statue, etc. 


66 SHAKESPEARE. [act hi. : 

Brutus shall lead ; and we will grace his heels '■ 
With the most boldest^ and best hearts of Rome. 

Enter a Servant. i 

Brutus. Soft! who comes here? A friend of Antony's. 

Servant. Thus, Brutus, did my master bid me kneel ; \ 

Thus did Mark Antony bid me fall down ; ■; 

And, being prostrate, thus he bade me say : \ 

Brutus is noble, wise, valiant, and honest ; 1 

Caesar was mighty, bold, royal, and loving : \ 

Say I love Brutus, and I honor him ; j 

Say I fear'd Ceesar, honoi-'d him and lov'd him. j 

If Brutus will vouchsafe that Antony : 
May safely come to him, and be resolv'd^ 

How Csesar hath deserv'd to he in death, : 
Mark Antony shall not love Caesar dead 

So well as Brutus living ; but will follow ! 

The fortunes and affairs of noble Brutus \ 

Thorough 3 the hazards of this untrod state* j 

With all true faith. So says my master Antony. ! 

Brutus. Thy master is a wise and valiant Roman ; 

I never thought him worse. J 

Tell him, so please him come unto this place, , 
He shall be satisfied ; and, by my honor, 
Depart untouch'd. 

Servant. I'll fetch him presently. \Exit. ; 

Brutus. I know that we shall have him well to friend.^ i 

Cassius. I wish we may : but yet have I a mind \ 


1 The use of the double or reenforced superlative -was common in Shake- j 
speare's time. 1 

2 " Be resolv'd," i.e., have explained to him. * 

3 A form of ' ' through, " which Shakespeare adopts when the meter requires : 
a dissyllable. I 

^ " Untrod state," i.e., new and untried condition of affairs. j 

5 " Well to friend," i.e., as a friend. i 


That fears him much ; and my misgiving still 
Falls shrewdly to the purpose.^ 
Brutus. But here comes Antony. 

Reenter Antony. 

Welcome, Mark Antony. 

Antony. O mighty Caesar! dost thou lie so low? 
Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils, 
Shrunk to this little measure? Fare thee well. 
I know not, gentlemen, what you intend, 
Who else must be let blood, who else is rank: 2 
If I myself, there is no hour so fit 
As Caesar's death's hour, nor no instrument 
Of half that worth as those your swords, made rich 
With the most noble blood of all this world. 
I do beseech ye, if you bear me hard. 
Now, whilst your purpled hands do reek and smoke, 
Fulfill your pleasure. Live^ a thousand years, 
I shall not find myself so apt^ to die : 
No place will please me so, no mean of death, 
As here by Caesar, and by you cut off, 
The choice and master spirits of this age. 

Brutus. O Antony, beg not your death of us. 
Though now we must appear bloody and cruel. 
As, by our hands and this our present act. 
You see we do, yet see you but our hands 
And this the bleeding business they have done : 
Our hearts you see not ; they are pitiful ; 
And pity to the general wrong of Rome — 
As fire drives out fire, so pity pity — 

1 " And my misgiving," etc., i.e., and my presentiments are but too apt 
to be realized. (See Cassius's attitude respecting Antony, p. 46,) 

2 " Rank," i.e., too full of blood. 

3 Should I live. 

4 Well prepared ; willing. 

68 SHAKESPEARE. [act hi. 

Hath done this deed on Csesar. For your part, 

To you our swords have leaden points, Mark Antony : 

Our arms in strength of mahce, and our hearts 

Of brothers' temper, do receive you in, 

With all kind love, good thoughts, and reverence. 

Cassius. Your voice shall be as strong as any man's 
In the disposing of new dignities. 

Brutus. Only be patient till we have appeas'd 
The multitude, beside themselves with fear, 
And then we will deliveri you the cause. 
Why I, that did love Csesar when I struck him, 
Have thus proceeded. 

Antony. I doubt not of your wisdom. 

Let each man render ^ me his bloody hand : 
First, Marcus Brutus, will I shake with you; 
Next, Caius Cassius, do 1 take yom- hand ; 
Now, Decius Brutus, yours ; now yours, Metellus ; 
Yours, Cinna ; and, my valiant Casca, yours ; 
Though last, not least in love, yours, good Trebonius. 
Gentlemen all — alas, what shall I say? 
My credit now stands on such slippery ground. 
That one of two bad ways you must conceit ^ me, 
Either a coward or a flatterer. 

That I did love thee, Caesar, O, 'tis true : ^ 

If then thy spirit look upon us now. 
Shall it not grieve thee dearer^ than thy death, 
To see thy Antony making his peace, 
Shaking the bloody fingers of thy foes. 
Most noble! in the presence of thy corse? 
Had I as many eyes as thou hast wounds. 
Weeping as fast as they stream forth thy blood, 
It would become me better than to close 
In terms of friendship with thine enemies. 

1 Make known to. 2 Give. 3 Conceive of. * More acutely. 



Pardon me, Julius! Hei'e wast thou bay'd, brave hart ; \ 

Here didst thou fall ; and here thy hunters stand, ] 

Sign'd in thy spoil,^ and crimson'd in thy death. i 

O world, thou Avast the forest to this hart ; 

And this, indeed, O world, the heart of thee. 

How like a deer, strucken by many princes, '; 

Dost thou here lie! ;' 

Cassius. Mark Antony — . 

Antony. Pardon me, Caius Cassius : ; 

The enemies of Caesar shall say this ; ; 
Then, in a friend, it is cold modesty.- 

Cassius. I blame you not for praising Caesar so; \ 
But what compact mean you to have with us? 

Will you be prick'd^ in number of om- friends ; ^ 

Or shall we on, and not depend on you? ' 

Aniony. Therefore I took your hands, but was, indeed, • 
Sway'd from the point, by looking down on Caesar. 

Friends am I with you all and love you all, : 

Upon this hope, that you shall give me reasons j 

Why and wherein Caesar was dangerous. \ 

Brnhis. Or else were this a savage spectacle : ; 

Our reasons are so full of good regard* j 

That were you, Antony, the son of Caesar, \ 

You should be satisfied. ' 

Antony. That's all I seek: | 

And am moreover suitor that I may j 

Produce ^ his body to the market-place ; j 

And in the pulpit, as becomes a friend, \ 

Speak in the order of his funeral.^ i 


J- " Sign'd in thy spoil," i.e., marked with thy blood. 1 

2 " Cold modesty," i.e., moderation. ^ Set down; marked. i 

* " Full of good regard," i.e., worthy favorable consideration. \ 

5 Convey. j 

6 It was customary in Rome for friends to deliver eulogies over the \ 
illustrious dead. i 


Brutus. You shall, Mark Antony. 

Cassius. Brutus, a word with you. 

VAside to Brutus] You know not what you do : do not consent 
That Antony speak in his funeral : 
Know you how much the people may be mov'd 
By that which he will utter? 

Brutus. By your pardon ; 

I will myself into the pulpit first, 
And show the reason of our Caesar's death : 
What Antony shaU speak, I will protest 
He speaks by leave and by permission, 
And that we are contented Caesar shall 
Have all true rites and lawful ceremonies. 
It shall advantage more than do us wrong. 

Cassius. - I know not what may fall ; I like it not. 

Brutus. Mark Antony, here, take you Caesar's body. 
You shall not in your funeral speech blame us, 
But speak all good you can devise of Caesar, 
And say you do't by our permission ; 
Else shall you not have any hand at all 
About his funeral : and you shall speak 
In the same pulpit whereto I am going, 
After my speech is ended. 

Antony. Be it so ; 

I do desire no more. 

Brutus. Prepare the body then, and follow us. 

[Exeunt all but Antony 

Antony. O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, 
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers! 
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man 
That ever lived in the tide of times. 
Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood! 
Over thy wounds now do I prophesy — 
Which, hkedumb mouths, do ope their ruby lips, 
To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue — 


A curse shall light upon the limbs of men ; 
Domestic fury and fierce civil strife 
Shall cumber all the parts of Italy ; 
Blood and destruction shall be so in use 
And dreadful objects so familiar 
That mothers shall but smile when they behold 
Their infants quarter'd with i the hands of war ; 
All pity chok'd with custom of fell deeds : 
And Caesar's spirit, ranging for revenge, 
With Ate 2 by his side come hot from hell, 
Shall in these confines with a monarch's voice 
Cry " Havoc," 3 and let slip the dogs of war; 
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth 
With carrion men, groaning for burial. 

Ettfer a Servant. 

You serve Octavius Csesar,* do you not? 
Servant. I do, Mark Antony. 
Antony. Csesar did write for him to come to Rome. 

1 " Quarter'd with," i.e., cut to pieces by. 

2 In Greek mythology, the goddess of discord. She was the daughter of 
Jupiter, but she occasioned so much jealousy and sedition in heaven that her 
father banished her to the lower world. 

3 " No quarter." 

* Octavius Csesar was the grand-nephew, adopted son, and heir of Julius 
Csesar, and at the time of his uncle's murder was in. Illyricum. .Receiving 
the news at Appolonia, he returned to Rome, and, though but a youth of 
nineteen, took a prominent part in the troublous times that followed, develop- 
ing ability as a leader, and much adroitness as a politician. He, with Antony 
and Lepidus, established the second triumvirate, famous for its cruel and 
bloody proscriptions. The triumvirs disagreeing, Lepidus was soon thrust 
to the wall. Octavius and Antony quarreled, and were reconciled; but a 
final rupture, caused by Antony's ill treatment of his wife, whom he divorced, 
and who was the sister of Octavius, resulted in the battle of Actium (31 B.C.), 
in which Antony was defeated, leaving Octavius without a rival and virtually 
master of the world. With the title of Augustus, which the Senate soon after 
conferred, he was the first of the Roman emperors. 

72 SHAKESPEARE. [act hi. 

Servant. He did receive his letters, and is coming ; 
And bid me say to you by word of mouth — 
O Caesar ! — \^Seeing the body. 

Antony. Thy heart is big, get thee apart and weep. 
Passion, I see, is catching ; for mine eyes. 
Seeing those beads of sorrow stand in thine, 
Began to water. Is thy master coming? 

Servant. He hes to-night within seven leagues of Rome. 

A?itony. Post back with speed, and tell him what hath chanc'd : 
Here is a mourning Rome, a dangerous Rome, 
No Rome of safety for Octavius yet ; 
Hie hence, and tell him so. Yet, stay awhile ; 
Thou shalt not back till I have borne this corse 
Into the market-place : there shall I try. 
In my oration, how the people take 
The cruel issue of these bloody men ; 
According to which, thou shalt discourse 
To young Octavius of the state of things. 
Lend me your hand. [Exeunt with CcRsar's body. 

Scene II. The Forum. 

Enter Brutus and Cassius, and a throng of Citizens. 

Citizens. We will be satisfied ; let us be satisfied. 

Brutus. Then follow me, and give me audience, friends. 
Cassius, go you into the other street, 
And part the numbers. 

Those that will hear me speak, let 'em stay here ; 
Those that will follow Cassius, go with him ; 
And public reason shall be rend'red 
Of Ceesar's death. 

First Citizen. I will hear Brutus speak. 

Second Citizen. I will hear Cassius ; and compare their reasons, 
When severally we hear them rend'red. 

[Exit Cassius, with some of the citizens. Brutus goes into 
the pulpit. 


Third CUizen. The noble Brutus is ascended : silence! 

Brutus. Be patient till the last. 
Romans, countrymen, and lovers!^ hear me for my cause, and 
be silent, that you may hear : believe me for mine honor, and 
have respect to mine honor, that you may believe : censure ^ me 
in your wisdom, and awake your senses, that you may the better 
judge. If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of 
Caesar's, to him I say, that Brutus' love to Caesar was no less 
than his. If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against 
Caesar, this is my answer : — Not that I lov'd Caesar less, but 
that I lov'd Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living 
and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all free 
men? As Caesar lov'd me, I weep for him ; as he Avas fortunate, 
I rejoice at it ; as he was valiant, I honor him : but, as he was 
ambitious, I slew him. There is tears for his love ; joy for his 
fortune ; honor for his valor ; and death for his ambition. Who 
is here so base that would be a bondman? If any, speak; for 
him have I offended. Who is here so rude that would not be 
a Roman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is 
here so vile that will not love his country? If any, speak; for 
him have I offended. I pause for a reply. 

All. None, Brutus, none. 

Brutus. Then none have I offended. I have done no more 
to Caesar than you shall do to Brutus. The question ^ of his 
death is enroll'd in the Capitol ; his glory not extenuated, wherein 
he was worthy, nor his offenses enforc'd, for which he suffered 

Enter Antony a7id others, with Cesar's body. 

Here comes his body, mourn'd by Mark Antony : who, though 
he had no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, 
a place in the commonwealth ; as which of you shall not? With 

1 Friends. 

2 Judge. This word, as often used by Shakespeare, implies simply an 
opinion, favorable or unfavorable. 

3 Statement of the causes. 

74 SHAKESPEARE. [act hi. 

this I depart, — that, as I slew my best lover for the good of 
Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please 
my country to need my death. ^ 

All. Live, Brutus! live, hve! 

First Citizen. Bring him with triumph home unto his house. 

Second Citizen. Give him a statue with his ancestors. 

Third Citizen. Let him be Caesar. 

Fourth Citizen. Caesar's better parts 

Shall now be crown'd in Brutus. 

First Citizeji. We'll bring him to his house 

With shouts and clamors. 

Brutus. My countrymen — 

Second Citizen. Peace, silence! Brutus speaks. 

First Citizen. Peace, ho! 

Brutus. Good countrymen, let me depart alone. 
And, for my sake, stay here with Antony : 
Do grace to Caesar's corpse, and grace his speech 
Tending to Caesar's glories ; which Mark Antony, 
By our permission, is allow'd to make. 
I do entreat you, not a man depart. 
Save I alone, till Antony have spoke. [Exit. 

First Citizen. Stay, ho! and let us hear Mark Antony. 

Third Citizen. Let him go up into the public chair ; 
We'll hear him. Noble Antony, go up. 

Antony. For Brutus' sake, I am beholding ^ to you. 

[Goes ifito the pulpit. 

Fourth Citizen. What does he say of Brutus? 

Third Citizen. He says, for Brutus' sake, 

He finds himself beholding to us all. 

Fourth Citizen. 'Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus here. 

First Citizen. This Caesar was a tyrant. 

1 The phraseology and sententious style of this speech are quite in accord 
with Plutarch's illustration of Brutus's manner. 

2 Beholden ; under obligation. 


Third Citizen. Nay, that's certain : 

We are blest that Rome is rid of him. 

Second Citizen. Peace! let us hear what Antony can say. 

Antony. You gentle Romans — 

Citizens. Peace, ho! let us hear him. 

Antony. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears ; 
I come to buryi Caesar, not to praise him. 
The evil that men do lives after them ; 
The good is oft interred with their bones ; 
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus 
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious : 
If it were so, it was a grievous fault, 
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it. 
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest, — 
For Brutus is an honorable man ; 
So are they all, all honorable men, — 
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral. 
He was my friend, faithful and just to me : 
But Brutus says he was ambitious ; 
And Brutus is an honorable man. 
He hath brought many captives home to Rome, 
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill : 
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious? 
When that the poor liave cri'd, Caesar hath wept : 
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff : 

1 Shakespeare Avas thinking of his own age when he wrote " bury." The 
dead were burned, not buried, in Caesar's time. Preparations had been made 
for the cremation of Csesar's body, and a funeral pile erected in the field of 
Mars ; but the people, excited by Antony's speech, tore up the chairs and 
benches of the magistrates, dismantled the senate-house, and brought the 
most precious combustible materials they could find to light a fire in the forum 
in which to consume the corpse. During the whole night, fresh fuel was 
added. The officers who had attended the procession stripped off the robes in 
which they were dressed, and cast them in the flames. Women crowded to 
the pyre, and threw upon it, as a sacrifice to the manes of the dead, the orna- 
ments of their own persons and those of their children. 

76 SHAKESPEARE. [act ill. 

Yet Brutus says he was ambitious ; 

And Brutus is an honorable man. 

You all did see that on the Lupercal 

I thrice presented him a kingly crown, 

Which he did thrice refuse : was this ambition? 

Yet Brutus says he was ambitious ; 

And, sure, he is an honorable man. 

I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke, 

But here I am to speak what I do know. 

You all did love him once, not without cause : 

What cause withholds you, then, to mourn for him? 

judgment! thou art fled 'to brutish beasts. 
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me ; 
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, 

And I must pause till it come back to me. 

First Citizen. Methinks there is much reason in his sayings. 

Second Citizen. If thou consider rightly of the matter, 
Caesar has had great wrong. 

Third Citizen. Has he, masters? 

1 fear there will a worse come in his place. 

Fourth Citizen, Mark'd ye his words? He would not take 
the crown ; 
Therefore 'tis certain he was not ambitious. 

First Citizen. If ifbe found so, some will' dear abide it. 

Second Citizen. Poor soul ! his eyes are red as fire with weeping. 

Third Citizen. There's not a nobler man in Rome than Antony, 

Fourth Citizen. Now mark him, he begins again to speak. 

Antony. But yesterday the word of Caesar might 
Have stood against the world ; now hes he there. 
And none so poor to do him reverence. 

masters, if I were dispos'd to stir 

Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, 

1 should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong, 
Who, you all know, are honorable men : 

I will not do them wrong ; I rather choose 


To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you, 

Than I will wrong such honorable men. 

But here's a parchment with the seal of Caesar ; 

I found it in his closet, 'tis his will : 

Let but the commons ^ hear this testament, — 

Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read, — 

And they would go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds 

And dip their napkins 2 in his sacred blood, 

Yea, beg a hair of him for memory, 

And, dying, mention it within their wills. 

Bequeathing it as a rich legacy 

Unto their issue. 

Fourth Citizen. We'll hear the will : read it, Mark Antony. 

All. The will, the will! we will hear Caesar's will. 

Antony. Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it ; 
It is not meet you know how Caesar lov'd you. 
You are not wood, you are not stones, but men ; 
And, being men, hearing the will of Caesar, 
It will inflame you, it will make you mad : 
'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs ; 
For, if you should, O, what would come of it! 

Fourth Citizen. Read the will ; we'll hear it, Antony ; 
You shall read us the will, Caesar's will. 

Antony. Will you be patient? will you stay awhile? 
I have o'ershot myself to tell you of it : 
I fear I wrong the honorable men 
Whose daggers have stabb'd Caesar ; I do fear it. 

Fourth Citizen. They were traitors : honorable men! 

All. The will! the testament! 

Second Citizen. They were villains, murderers : the will ! read 
the will. 

Antony. You will compel me, then, to read the will? 
Then make a ring about the corpse of Caesar, 

1 The common people. 

2 Handkerchiefs were so called in Shakespeare's time. 


And let me show you him that made the will. 
Shall I descend? and will you give me leave? 

Several Citizens. Come down. 

Second Citizen. Descend. 

Third Citizen. You shall have leave. \Antony comes down. 

Fourth Citizen. A ring ; stand round. 

First Citizen. Stand from the hearse, stand from the body. 

Second Citizen. Room for Antony, most noble Antony. 

AntoTiy. Nay, press not so upon me ; stand far off. 

Several Citizens. Stand back ; room ; bear back. 

Antony. If you have tears, prepare to shed them now. 
You all do know this mantle : I remember 
The first time ever Cassar put it on ; 
'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent, 
That day he overcame the Nervii : ^ 
Look, in this place ran Cassius' dagger through ; 
See what a rent the envious Casca made : 
Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb'd ; 
And as he pluck'd his cursed steel away, 
Mark how the blood of Caesar follow'd it, 
As rushing out of doors, to be resolv'd 
If Brutus so unkindly knock'd, or no ; 
For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel : 
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar lov'd him! 
This was the most unkindest^ cut of all; 
For when the noble Caesar saw him stab. 
Ingratitude, more strong than traitor's arms, 

1 This allusion of Antony to the Nervii was admirably calculated to arouse 
popular indignation against the conspirators. The suppression of this fierce 
and dreaded Belgic people was one of the most famous of Csesar's military 
achievements. It was during his second campaign in Gaul that the battle 
was fought (in which he displayed great personal valor) which resulted in 
the total annihilation of the Nervian army of sixty thousand men, and the 
effectual subjugation of the nation. 

2 Another double superlative, serving to intensify the expression. 


Quite vanquish'd him : then burst his mighty heart ; ; 
And, in his mantle muffling up his face, 

Even at the base of Pompey's statua, \ 

Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell. | 

O, what a fall was there, my countrymen! 1 
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down. 

Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us. ' \ 

O, now you weep ; and, I perceive, you feel j 

The dint ^ of pity : these are gracious drops. ' 

Kind souls, what, weep you when you but behold - \ 

Our Caesar's vesture wounded ? Look you here, j 

Here is himself, marr'd, as you see, with traitors. \ 

Fbst Citizen. O piteous spectacle! j 

Second Citizen. O noble Caesar! ,: 

Third Citizen. O woful day! 1 

Fourth Citizen. O traitors, villains! ', 

First Citizen. O most bloody sight! 

Second Citizen. We will be reveng'd. j 

All. Revenge! About! Seek! Bum! Fire! Kill! j 

Slay ! Let not a traitor live ! .! 

Anto7iy. Stay, countrymen. ; 

First Citizen. Peace there! hear the noble Antony. j 

Second Citizen. We'll hear him, we'll follow him, we'll die with \ 

him. \ 

Antony. Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up i 

To such a sudden flood of mutiny. \ 

They that have done this deed are honorable : \ 

What private griefs they have, alas, I know not, \ 

That made them do it : they are wise and honorable, ; 

And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you. j 

I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts : ; 

I am no orator, as Brutus is ; \ 

But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man, \ 

That love my friend ; and that they know full well \ 

1 Impression ; toucli. \ 

8o SHAKESPEARE. [act m. 

That gave me public leave to speak of him : 

For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth, 

Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech, 

To stir men's blood : I only speak right on ; 

I tell you that which you yourselves do know ; 

Show you sweet Caesar's wounds, poor poor dumb mouths, 

And bid them speak for me : but were I Brutus, 

And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony 

Would ruffle up your spirits and put a tongue 

In every wound of Csesar that should move 

The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny. 

All. We'll mutiny. 

First Citizen. We'll burn the house of Brutus. 

Third Citizeii. Away, then! come, seek the conspirators. 

Antony. - Yet hear me, countrymen ; yet hear me speak. 

All. Peace, ho! Hear Antony. Most noble Antony! 

Antony. Why, friends, you go to do you know not what : 
Wherein hath Csesar thus deserv'd your loves? 
Alas, you know not : I must tell you, then : 
You have forgot the will I told you of. 

All. Most true. The will ! Let's stay and hear the will. 

Antony. Here is the will, and under Caesar's seal. 
To every Roman citizen he gives, 
To every several man, seventy-five drachmas. ^ 

Second Citizen. Most noble Csesar! We'll revenge his death. 

Third Citizen. O royal Csesar! 

Antojiy. Hear me with patience. 

All. Peace, ho! 

Antony. Moreover, he hath left you all his walks, 
His private arbors and new-planted orchards. 
On this side Tiber ; he hath left themi you. 
And to your heirs forever, common pleasures, 

1 Seventy-five drachmas was equal to about fourteen dollars. A drachma 
was a Greek coin worth about eighteen cents. 


To walk abroad,! and recreate yourselves. 
Here was a Caesar! when comes such another? 

First Citizen. Never, never. Come, away, away! 
We'll burn his body in the holy place. 
And with the brands fire the traitors' houses. 
Take up the body. 

Second Citizen. Go fetch fire. 

Third Citizen. Pluck down benches. 

Fouj'th Citizen. Pluck down forms, windows, anything. 

\Exeunt Citizens with the body. 

Antony. Now let it v/ork. Mischief, thou art afoot, 
Take thou what course thou wilt! 

Enter a Servant. 

How now, fellow! 

Servant. Sir, Octavius is already come to Rome. 

Antony. Where is he? 

Servant. He and Lepidus are at Caesar's house. 

Antony. And thither will I straight to visit him : 
He comes upon a wish. 2 Fortune is merry. 
And in this mood will give us anything. 

Servant. I heard him say, Brutus and Cassius 
Are rid like madmen through the gates of Rome. 

Atitony. Belike 3 they had some notice of the people. 
How I had mov'd them. Bring me to Octavius. [Exeunt. 

Scene III. A Street. 

Enter CiNNA the poet. 
Cinna. I dreamt to-night that I did feast with Caesar, 
And things unlucky charge my fantasy : 

^ " Common pleasures," etc., i.e., common pleasure-grounds in which to 
walk abroad, etc. 

2 " Upon a wish," i.e., in the nick of time. 

3 Probably. 


82 SHAKESPEARE. [act III. \ 

I have no will to wander forth of doors,i 

Yet something leads me forth. , 

Enter Citizens. j 

First Citizen. What is your name? 

Second Citizen. Whither are you going? ; 

Third Citizen. Where do you dwell? ! 
Fourth Citizen. Are you a married man or a bachelor? 

Second Citizen. Answer every man directly. \ 

First Citizen. Ay, and briefly. j 

Fourth Citizen. Ay, and wisely. : 

Third Citizen. Ay, and truly, you were best. j 

Cinna. What is my name? Whither am I going? Where j 

do I dwell? Am I a married man or a bachelor? Then, to j 

answer every man directly and briefly, wisely and truly : wisely ; 

I say, I am a bachelor. ' 
Second Citizen. That's as much as to say, they are fools that : 

marry: you'll bear me a bang^ for that, I fear. Proceed; ; 

directly. ! 

Cinna. Directly, I am going to Caesar's funeral. ' 

First Citizen. As a friend or an enemy? i 

Cijina. As a friend. ; 

Second Citizen. That matter is answered directly. { 

Fourth Citizen. For your dwelling,^ — briefly. ! 

Cinna. Briefly, I dwell by the Capitol. ' ' 

Third Citizen. Your name, sir, truly. ■ 

Cin?ia. Truly, my name is Cinna. : 

First Citizen. Tear him to pieces ; he's a conspirator. ; 

Cinna. I am Cinna the poet, I am Cinna the poet. ; 

Fourth Citizen. Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his ! 

bad verses. ; 

Cinna. I am not Cinna the conspirator. ■■ 

1 " Forth of doors," i.e., out of doors. j 

2 " You'll bear me a bang," i.e., you'll have a blow from me. \ 

3 *' For your dwelling," i.e., now, where do you live? I 


Fou7'th Citizen. It is no matter, his name's Ciniia ; pluck but 
his name out of his heart, and turn him going. 

Third Citizen. Tear him, tear him ! Come, brands, ho ! fire- 
brands : to Brutus', to Cassius' ; burn all : some to Decius' 
house, and some to Casca's ; some to Ligarius' : away, go ! 



Scene I. A House in Rome}^ 

Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus, seated at a table. 

Antony. These many, then, shall die ; their names are prick' d. 

Octavius. Your brother too must die; consent you, Lepidus? 

Lepidus. I do consent — 

Octavius. Prick him down, Antony. 

Lepidus. Upon condition Publius shall not live. 
Who is your sister's son, Mark Antony. 

Antony. He shall not Hve ; look, with a spot I damn him. 
But, Lepidus, go you to Caesar's house ; 
Fetch the will hither, and we shall determine 
How to cut oflf some charge in legacies. 

Lepidus. What, shall I find you here? 

Octavius. Or here, or at the Capitol. \Exit Lepidus. 

Antony. This is a slight unmeritable man. 
Meet to be sent on errands : is it fit, 
The threefold world divided, he should stand 
One of the three to share it? 

Octavius. So you thought him ; 

1 In reality the time of this scene was about a year and a half after Csesar's 
death. The meeting of Octavius Csesar, Antony, and Lepidus was not at 
Rome, but on an island in the Lavinus, a small stream near Bologna. Here 
the second triumvirate was formed. It was determined that these three mili- 
tary leaders should hold or share, during five years, the supreme administra- 
tion of affairs in the empire, and that Antony and Octavius should pursue the 
war against Brutus and Cassius in the east. (See Introduction, p. 9.) 

84 SHAKESPEARE. [act iv. 

And took his voice who should be prick'd to die, 
In our black sentence and proscription. 

Antony. Octavius, I have seen more days than you : 
And though we lay these honors on this man, 
To ease ourselves of divers sland'rous loads. 
He shall but bear them as the ass bears gold. 
To groan and sweat under the business, 
Either led or driven, as we point the way ; 
And having brought our treasure where we will, 
Then take we down his load, and turn him off. 
Like to the empty ass, to shake his ears. 
And graze in commons. 

Octavius. You may do your will ; 

But he's a tried and valiant soldier. 

Antony: So is my horse, Octavius; and for that 
I do appoint him store of provender : 
It is a creature that I teach to fight. 
To wind, to stop, to run directly on. 
His corporal motion govern'd by my spirit. 
And, in some taste,i is Lepidus but so ; 
He must be taught and train'd and bid go forth ; 
A barren-spirited fellow ; one that feeds 
On objects, arts and imitations, 
Which, out of use and stal'd by other men. 
Begin his fashion : 2 do not talk of him, 
But as a property.^ And now, Octavius, 
Listen great things : — Brutus and Cassius 
Are levying powers :^ we must straight make head:^ 
Therefore let our alliance be combin'd, 

1 " In some taste," i.e., in some degree; somewhat in that way. 

2 " Out of use and stal'd," etc., i.e., he is not up with the times; matters 
that have ceased to be interesting to other men are new to him. 

3 •' But as a property," i.e., a mere thing to be made use of. 
* " Levying powers," i.e., raising troops. 

5 " Make head," i.e.^ make headway to oppose them. 


Our best friends made, and our best means stretch'd out ; 
And let us presently go sit in council, 
How covert matters may be best disclos'd,i 
And open perils surest answered. 

Octavius. Let us do so : for we are at the stake, 
And bay'd about 2 with many enemies ; 
And some that smile have in their hearts, I fear, 
Millions of mischiefs. [Exeunt. 

Scene II. CamJ> near Sardis? Before Brutus' s Tent. 

Drum. Enter Brutus, Lucilius, Lucius, and Soldiers ; Titinius and 
PiNDARUS tneeting them. 

Brutus. Stand, ho! 

Lucilius. Give the word, ho! and stand. 

Brutus. What now, Lucilius! is Cassius near? 

Lucilius. He is at hand ; and Pindarus is come 
To do you salutation from his master. 

Brutus. He greets me well. Your master, Pindarus, 
In his own charge, or by ill officers. 
Hath given me some worthy cause to wish 
Things done, undone : but, if he be at hand, 
I shall be satisfied. 

Pindarus. I do not doubt 

But that my noble master will appear 
Such as he is, full of regard and honor. 

Brutus. He is not doubted. A word, Lucilius ; 
How he receiv'd you, let me be resolv'd.* 

Lucilius. With courtesy and with respect enough ; 

1 "How covert matters," etc., i.e., how the designs of secret enemies 
may be best detected. 

2 " Bay'd about," i.e., harried. 

3 A city of Lycia in Asia Minor whence Brutus and Cassius had fled, and 
where they had each raised armies. 

* Informed. 


But not with such famihar instances,^ 

Nor with such free and friendly conference, 

As he hath used of old. 

Brutus. Thou hast describ'd 

A hot friend cooling : ever note, Lucilius, 
When love begins to sicken and decay. 
It useth an enforced ceremony. 
There are no tricks in plain and simple faith ; 
But hollow 2 men, like horses hot at hand,^ 
Make gallant show and promise of their mettle ; 
But when they should endure the bloody spur, 
They fall their crests, and, like deceitful jades. 
Sink in the trial. Comes his army on? 

Lucilius. They mean this night in Sardis to be quarter'd ; 
The greater part, the horse in general,* 
Are come with Cassius. 

Brutus. Hark! he is arriv'd. 

^Low march within, 
March gently on to meet him. 

Enter Cassius and his powers. 

Cassius. Stand, ho! 

Brutus. Stand, ho! Speak the word along. 

First Soldier. Stand ! 

Second Soldier. Stand ! 

Third Soldier. Stand ! 

Cassius. Most noble brother, you have done me wrong. 

Brutus. Judge me, you gods! wrong I mine enemies? 
And, if not so, how should I wrong a brother? 

Cassius. Brutus, this sober form of yours hides wrongs ; 
And when you do them — 

1 " Familiar instances," i.e., intimacy. 

2 Dissembling. 

3 " Hot at hand," i.e., eager and hard to hold. 

* " The horse in general," i.e., all of the horsemen. 


Brutus. Cassius, be content ; 

Speak your griefs softly : ^ I do know you well. 
Before the eyes of both our armies here, 
Which should perceive nothing but love from us, 
Let us not wrangle : bid them move away ; 
Then in my tent, Cassius, enlarge your griefs, 
And I will give you audience. 

Cassius. Pindarus, 

Bid our commanders lead their charges off 
A little from this ground. 

Brutus. Lucius, do you the like ; and let no man 
Come to our tent till we have done our conference. 
Lucilius and Titinius, guard our door. [Exeunt. 

Scene III. Brutus'" s Tent. \ 


Enter Brutus and Cassius. \ 

Cassius. That you have wrong'd me doth appear in this : I 

You have condemn'd and noted ^ Lucius Pella ; 

For taking bribes here of the Sardians ; ; 
Wherein my letters, praying on his side,^ 

Because I knew the man, were shghted off.* ■ 

Brutus. You wrong'd yourself to write in such a case. ■ 

Cassius. In such a time as this it is not meet 1 

That every nice offense should bear his comment. ^ 1 

Brutus. And let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself j 

Are much condemn'd to have an itching palm ; \ 

To sell and mart your offices for gold \ 

To undeservers. \ 

1 Privately. 2 Stigmatized. ; 

3 " On his side," i.e., in his behalf. ; 
* " Slighted off," i.e., contemptuously treated. 

5 " Every nice offense," etc., i.e., every trifling offense should be closely , 

criticised. " His " is here used for " its." I 

88 SHAKESPEARE. [act iv. 

Cassius. I an itching palm! 

You know that you are Brutus that speak this, 
Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last. 

Brictus. The name of Cassius honors this corruption, 
And chastisement doth therefore hide his head. ^ 

Cassius. Chastisement ! 

Brutus. Remember March, the Ides of March remember: 
Did not great Julius bleed for justice' sake? 
What villain touch'd his body, that did stab, 
And not for justice?" What, shall one of us. 
That struck the foremost man of all this world 
But for supporting robbers, shall we now 
Contqjpiinate our fingers with base bribes, 
And sell the mighty space of our large honors 3 
For so much trash as may be grasped thus? 
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon. 
Than such a Roman. 

Cassius. Brutus, bay not me ; 

I'll not endure it : you forget yourself. 
To hedge me in ;* I am a soldier, I, 
Older in practice, abler than yourself 
To make conditions. 

Brutus. Go to ;^ you are not, Cassius. 

Cassius. I am. 

Brutus. I say you are not. 

1 " The name of Cassius," etc., i.e., the great name of Cassius covers 
with its honor even this corruption, and therefore he escapes his deserved 

2 " What villain touch'd his body," etc., i.e., who was such a villain, of 
those who touched his body, that he stabbed for any other motive than 

3 Integrity. 

* " Hedge me in," i.e., put me under restraint. 

s This phrase is used by old writers sometimes as an exclamation of 
exhortation, sometimes of reproof, and not uufrequently, as here, of im- 


Cassius. Urge me no more, I shall forget myself; 
Have mind upon your health, tempt me no farther. 

Brutus. Away, slight man! 

Cassius. Is't possible? 

Brutus. Hear me, for I will speak. 

Must I give way and room to your rash choler? 
Shall I be frighted when a madman stares? 

Cassius. O ye gods, ye gods! must I endure all this? 

Brutus. All this ! ay, more : fret till your proud heart break ; 
Go show youi; slaves how choleric you are. 
And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge? 
Must I observe you? must I stand and crouch 
Under your testy humor? By the gods. 
You shall digest the venom of yoiu- spleen, 1 
Though it do split you ; for, from this day forth, 
I'll use you for my mirth, yea, for my laughter, 
When you are waspish. 

Cassius. Is it come to this? 

Brutus. You say you are a better soldier : 
Let it appear so ; make your vaunting true, 
And it shall please me well : for mine own part, 
I shall be glad to learn of noble men. 

Cassius. You wrong me every way ; you wrong me, Brutus ; 
I said, an elder soldier, not a better : 
Did I say "better"? 

Brutus. If you did, I care not. 

Cassius. When Csesar hv'd, he durst not thus have mov'd me. 

Brutus. Peace, peace! you durst not so have tempted him. 

Cassius. I durst not! 

Brutus. No. 

Cassius. What, durst not tempt him ! 

Brutus. For your hfe you durst not. 

1 Old writers on physiology make the spleen the seat of the emotions 
generally, — anger, malice, mirth, etc. 

90 SHAKESPEARE. [act rv. 

Cassius. Do not presume too much upon my love ; 
I may do that I shall be sorry for. 

Brutus. You have done that you should be sorry for. 
There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats, 
For I am arm'd so strong in honesty 
That they pass by me as the idle wind. 
Which I respect not. I did send to you 
For 'certain sums of gold, which you denied me: 
For I can raise no money by vile means : 
By heaven, I had rather coin my heart. 
And drop my blood for drachmas, than to wring 
From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash 
By any indirection : I did send 
To you for gold to pay my legions. 
Which you denied me : was that done like Cassius? 
Should I have answer'd Caius Cassius so? 
When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous, 
To lock such rascal counters from^ his friends. 
Be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts ; 
Dash him to pieces! 

Cassius. I denied you not, 

Brutus. You did. 

Cassius. I did not : he was but a fool that brought 
My answer back. Brutus hath riv'd my heart : 
A friend should bear his friend's infirmities. 
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are. 

Brutus. I do not, till you practice them on me. 

Cassius. You love me not. 

Brutus. I do not like your faults. 

Cassius. A friendly eye could never see such faults. 

Brutus. A flatterer's would not, though they do appear 
As huge as high Olympus. 

Cassius. Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come, 
Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius, 

1 " To lock," etc., i.e., as to deny such trifling favors to. 



For Cassius is aweary of the world ; \ 

Hated by one he loves; brav'd^ by his brother; 

Check'd 2 like a bondman; all his faults observ'd, ' 

Set in a note-book, learn'd, and conn'd by rote,^ 

To cast into my teeth. O, I could weep | 

My spirit from mine eyes! There is my dagger, ; 

And here my naked breast ; within, a heart ) 

Dearer than Plutus' ^ mine, richer than gold : , 

If that thou be'st a Roman, take it forth ; ; 

I, that denied thee gold, will give my heart : \ 

Strike, as thou didst at Csesar ; for, I know, i 

When thou didst hate him worst, thou lov'dst him better j 

Than ever thou lov'dst Cassius. \ 

Brutus. Sheathe your dagger : : 

Be angry when you will, it shall have scope ; I 

Do what you will, dishonor shall be humor. ^ ; 

O Cassius, you are yoked with a lamb \ 

That carries anger as the flint bears fire ; 1 

Who, much enforced, shows a hasty spark, ] 

And straight is cold again. \ 

Cassius. Hath Cassius liv'd | 

To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus, ; 

When grief, and blood ill-temper'd, vexeth him? ; 

Brutus. When I spoke that, I was ill-temper'd too. \ 

Cassius. Do you confess so much? Give me your hand. j 

Brutus. And my heart too. J 

Cassius. O Brutus! 

Brutus. What's the matter? 

Cassius. Have not you love enough to bear with me, ' 

1 Contemptuously defied. 

2 Rebuked. ' 

3 " Conn'd by rote," i.e., studied until exactly committed to memory. ; 
* In the mythology of the Greeks, Plutus was the god or personification 

of wealth. ; 
5 " Dishonor shall be humor," i.e., your dishonor shall be called caprice. < 

92 SHAKESPEARE. [act iv. 

When that rash humor ^ which my mother gave me 
Makes me forgetful? 

Brutus. Yes, Cassius ; and, from henceforth, 

When you are over-earnest with your Brutus, 
He'll think your mother chides,^ and leave you so. 

Poet. [ Within\ Let me go in to see the generals ; 
There is some grudge between 'em, 'tis not meet 
They be alone. 

Lucilius. [ Withm\ You shall not come to them. 

Poet. [ Within] Nothing but death shall stay me. 

Enter Poet, followed by Lucilius, Titinius, and Lucius. 

Cassius. How now! what's the matter? 

Poet. For shame, you generals! what do you mean? 
Love, and be friends, as two such men should be ; 
For I have seen more years, I'm sure, than ye. 

Cassius. Ha, ha! how vilely doth this cynic rhyme! 

Brutus. Get you hence, sirrah ; saucy fellow, hence! 

Cassius. Bear with him, Brutus ; 'tis his fashion. 

Brutus. I'll know his humor, when he knows his time : 
What should the wars do with these jigging^ fools? 
Companion, hence! 

Cassius. Away, away, be gone ! \Exit Poet. 

Brutus. Lucilius and Titinius, bid the commanders 
Prepare to lodge their companies to-night. 

Cassius. And come yourselves, and bring Messala with you 
Immediately to us. \Exeunt Lucilius and Titinius. 

Brutus. Lucius, a bowl of wine ! \Exit Lucius. 

Cassius. I did not think you could have been so angry. 

Brutus. O Cassius, I am sick of many griefs. 

1 " Rash humor," i.e., hasty temper. 

2 " Your mother chides," i.e., your mother in you is scolding. 

3 A jig was a comic composition in rhyme, sung to a lively tune. The 
reference here is to the poet's rhyme. 


Cassius. Of your philosophy you make no use, 
If you give place to accidental evils. 

Brutus. No man bears sorrow better. Portia i is dead. 

Cassius. Ha! Portia! 

Brutus. She is dead. 

Cassius. How 'scaped I killing when I cross'd you so? 

insupportable and touching loss! 
Upon what sickness? 

Brutus. Impatient of my absence, 

And griefs that young Octavius with Mark Antony 
Have made themselves so strong : — for with her death 
That tidings came ; — with this she fell distract, 
And, her attendants absent, swallow' d fire. 

Cassius. And died so? 

Brutus. Even so. 

Cassius. O ye immortal gods! 

Reenter Lucius, zvith wine and taper. 

Brutus. Speak no more of her. Give me a bowl of wine. 
In this I bury all unkindness, Cassius. 

Cassius. My heart is thirsty for that noble pledge. 
Fill, Lucius, till the wine o'erswell the cup ; 

1 cannot drink too much of Brutus' love. 

Brzitus. Come in, Titinius ! \Exit Lucius. 

1 " Among the immediate consequences of the events at Philippi is 
mentioned the death of Portia, the wife of Brutus and the daughter of Cato. 
Being suspected of an intention to kill herself, watched by her servants, and 
anxiously precluded from the ordinary means of effecting that purpose, she 
swallowed burning coals and expired. This was said to have happened on 
hearing of her husband's death ; but Plutarch cites a letter of Brutus, extant 
in his own time, from which it appeared that this catastrophe preceded the 
death of Brutus, and was imputed to the negligence of her servants, who 
attended her in the delirium of a fever." 

2 " Impatient of my absence," etc. There is a confusion here of two 
forms of construction. " Impatient" should be " impatience," or " grief" 
" grieved; " but the sense of the text is perfectly clear. 

94 SHAKESPEARE. [act iv. 

Reenter Titinius, with MfesSALA. 

Welcome, good Messala. 
Now sit we close about this taper here, 
And call in question ^ our necessities. 

Cassius. Portia, art thou gone? 

Brutus. No more, I pray you. 

Messala, I have here received letters. 
That young Octavius and Mark Antony 
Come down upon us with a mighty power, 
Bending their expedition toward Philippi. 2 

Messala. Myself have letters of the selfsame tenor. 

Brutus. With what addition? 

Messala. That by proscription^ and bills of outlawry,* 
Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus, 
Have put to death an hundred senators. 

Brutus. Therein our letters do not well agree ; 
Mine speak of seventy senators that died 
By their proscriptions, Cicero being one. 

Cassius. Cicero one! 

Messala. Cicero ^ is dead, 

And by that order of proscription. 
Had you your letters from yoiu" wife, my lord? 

1 " Call in question," i.e., examine into. 

2 A city in the extreme northeastern part of Macedonia, about eighty miles 
east of the modern Salonica. 

3 In the earlier days of civic strife in Rome, proscription implied banish- 
ment of the proscribed, and confiscation of his property, but had now come 
to mean death as well as confiscation. 

* Bills of outlawry were edicts or orders declaring that certain persons 
were no longer under the protection of the law, and that they might be put 
to death by any one with impunity. 

5 Cicero, to escape the fate of the proscribed, had embarked for Greece ; 
but being out of health, and disturbed by the motion of the ship, he stopped 
for rest at one of his villas near Capua. Popilius Lsenas, a tribune of the 
legions, and Herennius, a centurion, with a party of soldiers who had been 


Brutus. No, Messala. 

Messala. Nor nothing in your letters writ of her? 

Brutus. Nothing, Messala. 

Messala. That, methinks, is strange. 

Brutus. Why ask you? hear you aught of her in yours? 

Messala. No, my lord. 

Brutus. Now, as you are a Roman, tell me true. 

Messala. Then like a Roman bear the truth I tell : 
For certain she is dead, and by strange manner. 

Brutus. Why, farewell, Portia. We must die, Messala : 
With meditating that she must die once, 
I have the patience to endure it now. 

Messala. Even so great men great losses should endure. 

Cassius. I have as much of this in art as you,i 
But yet my nattu-e could not bear it so. 

Brutus. Well, to our work alive. What do you think 
Of marching to Philippi presently? 

Cassius. I do not think it good. 

Brutus. Your reason? 

Cassius. This it is : 

'Tis better that the enemy seek us : 
So shall he waste his means, weary his soldiers. 
Doing himself offense ; whilst we, lying still. 
Are full of rest, defense, and nimbleness. 

Brutus, Good reasons must, of course, give place to better. 
The people 'twixt Philippi and this ground 

sent' out to overtake him, intercepted Cicero on his way to resume his voyage, 
and before he had got beyond his own garden, as he was being conveyed in 
his Htter to the vessel. Upon the approach of the military, he put forth his 
head from the litter and fixed his eyes upon the tribune with great composure. 
The countenance of a man so well known to every Roman, now worn out with 
fatigue and dejection, and disfigured by neglect of the usual attention to his 
person, made a moving spectacle even to those who came to assist in his 
murder. They turned away, while the assassin performed his office, and 
severed the head from the body. 

1 " I have as much of this in art as you," i.e., although a Stoic, as you are. 


Do stand but in a forc'd affection ; 
For they have grudg'd us contribution : 
The enemy, marching along by them/ 
By them 2 shall make a fuller number up, 
Come on refresh'd, new-added, and encourag'd ; 
From which advantage shall we cut him off, 
If at Philippi we do face him there, 
These people at our back. 

Cassius. Hear me, good brother. 

Brutus. Under your pardon. You must note beside, 
That we have tried the utmost of our friends. 
Our legions are brim-full. Our cause is ripe : 
The enemy increaseth every day ; 
We, at the height, are ready to decline. 
There is a tide in the affairs of men, 
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune ; 
Omitted, all the voyage of their life 
Is bound in shallows and in miseries. 
On such a full sea are we now afloat ; 
And we must take the current when it serves, 
Or lose our ventures. 

Cassius. Then, with your will, go on ; 

We'll along ourselves, and meet them at Philippi. 

Brutus. The deep of night is crept upon our talk, 
And nature must obey necessity ; 
Which we will niggard^ with a little rest. 
There is no more to say? 

Cassius. No more. Good night : 

Early to-morrow will we rise, and hence. ^ 

Brutus. Lucius! [Enter Lucius.] My gown. [Exit Lucius.] 
Farewell, good Messala : 

1 " Along by them," i.e., through their territories. 

2 " By them," i.e., by recruits from them. 

3 Stint. Very rarely used as a verb. 

* "And hence," i.e., and march hence. 


Good night, Titinius. Noble, noble Cassius, 
Good night, and good repose. 

Cassius. O my dear brother! 

This was an ill beginning of the night : 
Never come such division 'tween our souls! 
Let it not, Brutus. 

Brutus. Everything is well. 

Cassius. Good night, my lord. 

Brutus. Good night, good brother. 

Titinius, Messala. Good night. Lord Brutus. 

Brutus. Farewell, every one. 

\Exeunt all but Brutus. 

Reenter Lucius, with the gown. 

Give me the gown. Where is thy instrument? 

Lucius. Here in the tent. 

Brutus. What, thou speak'st drowsily? 

Poor knave, I blame thee not ; thou art o'erwatch'd. 
Call Claudius and some other of my men : 
I'll have them sleep on cushions in my tent. 

Lucius. Varro and Claudius! 

Enter Varro and Claudius. 

Varro. Calls my lord? 

Brutus. I pray you, sirs, lie in my tent and sleep ; 
It may be I shall raise you by and by 
On business to my brother Cassius, 

Varro. So please you, we will stand and watch your pleasure. 

Brutus. I will not have it so : lie down, good sirs ; 
It may be I shall otherwise bethink me. 
Look, Lucius, here's the book I sought for so ; 
I put it in the pocket of my gown. 

[ Varro and Claudius lie down, 

Lucius. I was sure your lordship did not give it me. 

Brutus. Bear with me, good boy, I am much forgetful. 

98 SHAKESPEARE. [act iv. 

Canst thou hold up thy heavy eyes awhile, 
And touch thy instrument a strain or two? 

Lucius. Ay, my lord, an't^ please you, 

Brutus. It does, my boy; 

I trouble thee too much, but thou art willing. 

Lucius. It is my duty, sir. 

Brutus. I should not urge thy duty past thy might ; 
I know young bloods look for a time of rest. 

Lucius. I have slept, my lord, already. 

Brutus. It was well done ; and thou shalt sleep again; 
I will not hold thee long : if I do live, 

I will be good to thee. ' \Music, and a song. 

This is a sleepy tune. O murd'rous slumber, 
Lay'st thou thy leaden mace upon my boy. 
That plays thee music? Gentle knave, good night; 
I will not do thee so much wrong to wake thee : 
If thou dost nod, thou break'st thy instrument ; 
I'll take it from thee ; and, good boy, good night. 
Let me see, let me see ; is not the leaf turn'd down 
Where I left reading? Here it is, I think. 

Enter the Ghost of CyESAR, 

How ill this taper burns! Ha! who comes here? 
I think it is the weakness of mine eyes 
That shapes this monstrous apparition. 
It comes upon me. Art thou anything? 2 
Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil, 
That mak'st my blood cold and my hair to stare P^ 
Speak to me what thou art. 

Ghost. Thy evil spirit, Brutus. 

Brutus. Why comest thou? 

Ghost. To tell thee thou shalt see me at Philippi. 

1 " An't please you," i.e., if it please you. 

2 " Art thou anything? " i.e., art thou substantial, or a mere illusion',' 

3 Stand on end. 


Brutus. Well; then I shall see thee again? 

Ghost. Ay, at Philippi. 

Brutus. Why, I will see thee at Philippi, then. \Exit Ghost. 
Now I have taken heart ^ thou vanishest : 
111 spirit, I would hold more talk with thee. 
Boy, Lucius! Varro! Claudius! Sirs, awake! 
Claudius ! 

Lucius. The strings, my lord, are false. 

Brutus. He thinks he still is at his instrument, 
Lucius, awake! 

Lucius. My lord? 

Brutus. Didst thou dream, Lucius, that thou so criedst out? 

Lucius. My lord, I do not know that I did cry. 

Brutus. Yes, that thou didst: didst thou see anything? 

Lucius. Nothing, my lord. 

Brutus. Sleep again, Lucius. Sirrah Claudius! 
\To Varrol Fellow thou, awake! 

Varro. My lord? 

Claudius. My lord? 

Brutus. Why did you so cry out, sirs, in your sleep? 

Varro, Claudius. Did we, my lord? 

Brutus. Ay: saw you anything? 

Varro. No, my lord, I saw nothing. 

Claudius. Nor I, my lord. 

Brutus. Go and commend me to my brother Cassius ; 
Bid him set on his powers betimes before,^ 
And we will follow. 

Varro, Claudius. It shall be done, my lord. ^Exeunt. 

1 " Taken heart," i.e., regained my self-possession. 

2 " Set on his powers betimes," etc., i.e., put his troops in motion early, 
in the advance. 



Scene I. The Plains of Philippi. 

Enter OcTAVius, Antony, and their Army. 

Octavius. Now, Antony, our hopes are answered : 
You said the enemy would not come down, 
But keep the hills and upper regions ; 
It proves not so : their battles ^ are at hand ; 
They mean to warn ^ us at Philippi here, 
Answering before we do demand of them. 

Antony. Tut, I am in their bosoms, ^ and I know 
Wherefore they do it : they could be content * 
To visit other places ; and come down 
With fearful bravery, thinking by this face 
To fasten in our thoughts that they have courage ; 
But 'tis not so. 

Enter a Messenger. 

Messenger. Prepare you, generals : 
The enemy comes on in gallant show ; 
Their bloody sign of battle^ is hung out, 
And something to be done ^ immediately. 

Antony. Octavius, lead your battle softly on. 
Upon the left hand of the even field. 

Octavius. Upon the right hand I ; keep thou the left. 

1 Battalions, armies, or divisions arrayed for battle. Shakespeare uses 
" battalion " but once in his plays, and then figuratively. 

2 Summon. Formerly persons were "warned" to attend meetings, to 
answer when charged with offenses, and generally " warn " was used for 
what we call " summon " now. 

3 " Tut, I am in their bosoms," i.e., nonsense, I know their secrets. 
* " They could be content," i.e., they would be well pleased. 

6 See Introduction, p. 15. 

6 " Something to be done," i.e., something is to be done. 


Antony. Why do you cross me in this exigent? \ 
Octavius. I do not cross you ; but I will do so.i \March. 

Drum. Enter Bkhiv?,, Cassw?,, and their Axmy ; LuciLius, TiTlNlus, j 

Messala, and others. I 

Brutus. They stand, and would have parley. 

Cassius. Stand fast, Titinius : we must out and talk. "■ 

. Octavius. Mark Antony, shall we give sign of battle? *j 

Antony. No, Csesar, we will answer on their charge. \ 

Make forth; the generals would have 2 some words. j 

Octavius. Stir not until the signal. i 

Brutus. Words before blows : is it so, countrymen? j 

Octavius. Not that we love words better, as you do. 1 

Brutus. Good words are better than bad strokes, Octavius. \ 

Antony. In your bad strokes, Brutus, you give good words : ,' 

Witness the hole you made in Caesar's heart, ! 

Crying " Long live ! hail, Csesar! " \ 

Cassius. Antony, ; 

The posture of your blows are^ yet unknown; \ 

But for your words, they rob the Hybla* bees, \ 

And leave them honeyless. ] 

Antony. Not stingless too. \ 

Brutus. O, yes, and soundless too ; ! 

For you have stol'n their buzzing, Antony, • 

And very wisely threat before you sting. j 

Antony. Villains, you did not so, when your vile daggers 'i 

Hack'd one another in the sides of Caesar : 

You show'd your teeth like apes, and fawn'd like hounds, ■ 

And bow'd like bondmen, kissing Caesar's feet ; | 

Whilst damned Casca, like a cur, behind \ 

Struck Caesar on the neck. O you flatterers! { 

1 " But I will do so," i.e., but I will do as I have said. i 

2 " Make forth," etc., i.e., go forward, the generals (i.e., Brutus and j 
Cassius) would have, etc. ] 

8 " Are " should be " is." * A town of Sicily noted for its honey. 


Cassius. Flatterers! Now, Brutus, thank yourself: 
This tongue had not offended so to-day, 
If Cassius might have rul'd.i 

Odavius. Come, come, the cause : if arguing make u sweat, 
The proof of it will turn to redder drops. 
Look ; 

I draw a sword against conspirators ; 
When think you that the sword goes up again? 
Never, till Caesar's three and thirty wounds 
Be well aveng'd ; or till another Caesar 
Hath added slaughter to the sword of traitors. 

Brutus. Caesar, thou canst not die by traitors' hands. 
Unless thou bring'st them with thee. 

Odavius. So I hope ; 

I was not born to die on Brutus' sword. 

Brutus. O, if thou wert the noblest of thy strain. 
Young man, thou couldst not die more honorable. ^ 

Cassius. A peevish schoolboy, ^ worthless of such honor, 
Join'd with a masker and a reveler! 

Antony. Old Cassius still! 

Odavius. Come, Antony, away! 

Defiance, traitors, hurl we in your teeth ; 
If you dare fight to-day, come to the field ; 
If not, when you have stomachs. * 

[Exeunt Odavius, Antony, and their army. 

Cassius. Why, now, blow wind, swell billow and swim bark ! 
The storm is up, and all is on the hazard. 

Brutus. Ho, Lucilius! hark, a word with you. 

Ludlius. [Standing forth] My lord! 

[Brutus and Ludlius converse apart. 

1 It will be recollected that Cassius counseled that Antony be killed with 
Csesar. (See p. 46.) 

2 Honorably. 3 Octavius was now but twenty-one years old. 

* " When you have stomachs," i.e., when you have courage or appetite 
to fight. 


Cassiw. Messala! i 

Messala [Standing fort^.\ What says my general? ; 

Cassius. Messala, i 

This is my birthday ; as this very day • 

Was Cassius born. Give me thy hand, Messala : j 

Be thou my witness that against my will, • i 

As Pompey was, am I compell'd to set \ 

Upon one battle all our liberties. i 

You know that I held Epicurus ^ strong ; 

And his opinion : now I change my mind, i 

And partly credit things that do presage. ! 

Coming from Sardis, on our former ensign j 

Two mighty eagles fell, and there they perch'd, i| 

Gorging and feeding from our soldiers' hands ; ■ 

Who to Philippi here consorted us : 1 

This morning are they fled away and gone ; •; 

And in their steads do ravens, crows and kites, j 
Fly o'er our heads and downward look on us, 
As we were sickly prey : their shadows seem 

A canopy most fatal, under which ' 

Our army lies, ready to give up the ghost. ] 

Messala. Believe not so. % 

Cassius. I but believe it partly ; \ 

For I am fresh of spirit and resolv'd j 
To meet all perils very constantly. ^ 

Brutus. Even so, Lucilius. ^ j 

. Cassius. Now, most noble Brutus, i 

The gods to-day stand friendly, that we may, 1 


1 A Greek philosopher of the third and fourth centuries before Christ. , 

He taught, among other things, that the knowledge obtained through the 1 

senses is the only correct standard of truth. Plutarch states that Cassius was ' 

an Epicurean. i! 

2 " Fresh of spirit and resolv'd," etc., i.e., full of life and hope, and pre- ,| 
pared to meet all perils with firmness and endurance. 

3 Brutus answers Lucilius, with whom he has been conferring apart. ; 

I04 SHAKESPEARE, [act v. 

Lovers in peace, lead on our days to age! 
But since the affairs of men rest still incertain,! 
Let's reason with the worst that may befall. 
If we do lose this battle, then is this 
The very last time we shall speak together : 
What are you then determined to do? 

BriUus. Even by the rule of that philosophy 
By which I did blame Cato^ for the death 
Which he did give himself (I know not how, 
But I do find it cowardly and vile, 
For fear of what might fall, so to prevent 
The time of life),^ arming myself with patience, 
To stay* the providence of some high powers 
That govern us below. 

Cassius.' , Then, if we lose this battle. 

You are contented to be led in triumph 
Thorough the streets of Rome? 

Brutus. No, Cassius, no : think not, thou noble Roman, 
That ever Brutus will go bound to Rome ; 
He bears too great a mind.^ But this same day 
Must end that work the Ides of March begun ; 
And whether we shall meet again I know not. 

1 Uncertain. 

2 Marcus Cato was a Roman statesman, general, and Stoic philosopher, 
who lived during the first century before Christ. He deliberately killed him- 
self with his sword rather than fall into the hands of Caesar during the civil 
war (47 B.C.). 

3 " So to prevent," etc., i.e., so to anticipate by self-destruction the 
natural term of life. 

* " Arming myself with patience, to stay," i.e., I shall arm myself with 
patience to await. 

5 Shakespeare makes Brutus change his mind suddenly upon realizing the 
results of defeat. This does not accord with Plutarch's account, which the 
poet probably misread in this instance. Plutarch records that Brutus said in 
substance that when a young and inexperienced man he held suicide to be 
inexcusable under any circumstances, but that now when surrounded by 
dangers he thought differently. (See Introduction, p. 15.) 


Therefore our everlasting farewell take : | 

For ever, and for ever, farewell, Cassius! ] 

If we do meet again, why, we shall smile ; 1 

If not, why then, this parting was well made. ] 

Cassius. For ever, and for ever, farewell, Brutus! \ 
If we do meet again, we'll smile indeed ; 
If not, 'tis true this parting was well made. 

Bnihis. Why, then, lead on. O, that a man might know ; 

The end of this day's business ere it come ! ,: 

But it sufi&ceth that the day will end, j 

And then the end is known. Come, ho! away! \Exeunt. j 


Scene II. The Same. The Field of Battle. \ 

Alarum. Enter Brutus and Messala. ■ 


Brutus. Ride, ride, Messala, ride, and give these bills ^ \ 

Unto the legions on the other side. [Loud alarum. • 

Let them set on at once ; for I perceive \ 

But cold demeanor in Octavius' wing, i 

And sudden push gives them the overthrow. : 

Ride, ride, Messala : let them all come down. \Exeunt. l 

Scene III. Another Part of the Field. 1 
Alarums. Enter Cassius and TiTlNius. 

Cassius. O, look, Titinius, look, the villains fly! ; 

Myself have to mine own turn'd enemy : i 

This ensign here of mine was turning back ; ] 
I slew the coward, and did take it^ from him. 

Titinius. O Cassius, Brutus gave the word too early ; ] 

Who, having some advantage on Octavius, ! 

Took it too eagerly : his soldiers fell to spoil, ; 

Whilst we by Antony are all inclos'd. ^ j 

' Written orders. 2 The flag. \ 

8 " O Cassius," etc., i.e., O Cassius, Brutus gave orders for the engage- \ 

ment too soon, and having some advantage over Octavius in the first onset, the ■ 

io6 SHAKESPEARE. [act v. 

Enter Pindarus. 

Pindarus. Fly further ofif, my lord, fly further off ; 
Mark Antony is in your tents, my lord : 
Fly, therefore, noble Cassius, fly far off. 

Cassius. This hill is far enough. Look, look, Titinius ; 
Are those my tents where I perceive the fire? 

Titinius. They are, my lord. 

Cassius. Titinius, if thou lov'st me. 

Mount thou my horse, and hide thy spurs in him, 
Till he have brought thee up to yonder troops, 
And here again; that I may rest assur'd 
Whether yond troops are friend or enemy. 

Titinius. I will be here again, even with a thought, [Exit. 

Cassius. Go, Pindarus, get higher on that hill ; 
My sight was ever thick i; regard ^ Titinius, 
And tell me what thou not'st about the field. 

[Pindarus ascends the hill. 
This day I breathed first : time is come round, 
And where I did begin, there shall I end ; 
My life is run his compass. Sirrah, what news? 

I^ndarus. [Al>ove] O my lord! 

Cassius. What news? 

Pindarus. \Above\ Titinius is inclosed round about 
With horsemen, that make to him on the spiu" ; 
Yet he spurs on. Now they are almost on him. 
Now, Titinius! Now some Hght.^ O, he hghts too. 
He's ta'en. \Shoiit.\ And, hark! they shout for joy. 

Cassius. Come down, behold no more. 
O, coward that I am, to live so long, 
To see my best friend ta'en before my face ! [Pindarus descends. 

soldiers fell to plundering, whilst our division of the army is cut off, and sur- 
rounded by Antony's troops. 

1 Plutarch tells us that Cassius's sight was bad. (Introduction, p. i6.) 

2 Watch. 3 Alight; dismount. 


Come hither, sirrah : j 

In Parthia did I take thee prisoner ; \ 
And then I swore thee, saving of thy hfe,i 

That whatsoever I did bid thee do, ; 

Thou shouldst attempt it. Come now, keep thine oath ; 1 

Now be a freeman : and with this good sword, i 
That ran through Caesar's bowels, search this bosom. 

Stand not to answer : here, take thou the hilts ; . ; 

And, when my face is cover'd, as ''tis now, | 

Guide thou the sword. \Pindarus stabs him^ Caesar, thou ! 

art reveng'd, I 

Even with the sword that kill'd thee. ^ \Dies. \ 

Plndarns. So, I am free ; yet would not so have been, ^ 

Durst I have done my will. O Cassius, I 

Far from this country Pindarus shall run, i 

Where never Roman shall take note of him. \Exit. 1 

Reenter Titinius -with Messala. ■ 

Messala. It is but change, Titinius ; for Octavius i 

Is overthrown by noble Brutus' power, i 

As Cassius' legions are by Antony. \ 

Titifiius. These tidings will well comfort Cassius. i 

Messala. Where did you leave him? \ 

Titinius. All disconsolate, i 

With Pindarus his bondman, on this hill. i 

Messala. Is not that he that lies upon the ground? | 

Titinius. He lies not like the living. O my heart! i 

Messala. Is not that he? i 

Titinius. No, this was he, Messala, i 

But Cassius is no more. O setting sun, ; 

As in thy red rays thou dost sink to night, | 

So in his red blood Cassius' day is set ; { 

1 " I swore thee, saving of thy life," i.e., when I saved thy life, thou didst f 
bind thyself by oath. ] 

2 Introduction, p. 16. ! 

io8 SHAKESPEARE. [act v. i 

The sun of Rome is set ! Our day is gone ; i 

Clouds, dews, and dangers come; our deeds are done! i 

Mistrust of my success hath done this deed. j 

Messala. Mistrust of good success hath done this deed. \ 

O hateful error, melancholy's child, \ 

Why dost thou show to the apt thoughts of men ! 
The things that are not? O error, soon conceiv'd, 

Thou never com'st unto a happy birth, j 

But kill'st the mother that engender'd thee! , 

Titinms. What, Pindarus! where art thou, Pindarus? ' 

Messala. Seek him, Titinius, whilst I go to meet ■ 

The noble Brutus, thrusting this report : 

Into his ears ; I may say, thrusting it ; ^ 

For piercing steel and darts envenomed \ 

Shall be as -welcome to the ears of Brutus i 

As tidings of this sight. i 

Titinius. Hie you, Messala, \ 
And I will seek for Pindarus the while. \Exit Messala. \ 

Why didst thou send me forth, brave Cassius? \ 

Did I not meet thy friends? and did "not they ' 

Put on my brows this wreath of victory, I 

And bid me give it thee? Didst thou not hear their shouts? j 

Alas, thou hast misconstrued everything! i 

But, hold thee, take this garland on thy brow; j 

Thy Brutus bid me give it thee, and I j 

Will do his bidding. Brutus, come apace, i i 

And see how I regarded Caius Cassius. j 

By your leave, gods : — this is a Roman's part : .' 

Come, Cassius' sword, and find Titinius' heart. [Kills himself. s 

Alarum. Reenter Messala, with Brutus, young Cato, Strato, : 

VoLUMNius, and LuciLius. i 

Brutus. Where, where, Messala, doth his body lie? j 

Messala. Lo, yonder, and Titinius mourning it. J 

1 Speedily. ; 


Brutus. Titinius' face is upward. 

Cato. He is slain. 

Brutus. O Julius Caesar, thou art mighty yet! 
Thy spirit walks abroad, and turns our swords 
In our own proper entrails. \Low alarums. 

Cato. . Brave Titinius! 

Look, whether he have not crown'd^ dead Cassius! 

Brutus. Are yet two Romans living such as these? 
The last of all the Romans, fare thee well ! . 
It is impossible that ever Rome 

Should breed thy fellow. ^ Friends, I owe more tears 
To this dead man than you shall see me pay. 
I shall find time, Cassius, I shall iind time. 
Come, therefore, and to Thasos^ send his body: 
His funerals shall not be in our camp. 
Lest it discomfort us. Lucilius, come ; 
And come, young Cato ; let us to the field. 
Labeo and Flavins, set our battles on : 
'Tis three o'clock ; and, Romans, yet ere night 
We shall try fortune in a second^ fight. \Exeunt. 

Scene IV. Another Part of the Field. 

Alarum. Enter fighting, Soldiers of both armies; then Brutus, young 
Cato, Lucilius, and others. 

Brutus. Yet, countrymen, O, yet hold up your heads! 
Cato. What coward doth not? Who will go with me? 
I will proclaim my name about the field : 

1 " Look, whether he have not," etc., i.e., see, he has crowned, etc. 

2 Equal. 

3 An island and city in the northern part of the vEgean Sea, about thirty 
miles south of the battlefield of Philippi. 

* As a matter of fact, there was an interval of twenty days between the two 
engagements, but, with true dramatic propriety, Shakespeare brings them 

no SHAKESPEARE. [act v. 

I am the son of Marcus Cato, ^ ho ! 

A foe to tyrants, and my country's friend ; 

I am the son of Marcus Cato, ho! 

Brutus. And I am Brutus, Marcus Brutus, I ; 
Brutus, my country's friend ; know me for Brutus ! \Exit 

Lucilius. O young and noble Cato, art thou down? 
Why, now thou diest as bravely as Titinius ; 
And mayst be honor'd, being Cato's son. 

First Soldier. Yield, or thou diest. 

Lucilius. Only I yield to die : 2 

There is so much that thou wilt kill me straight ; 

\Offering money. 
Kill Brutus, and be honor'd in his death. 

First Soldier. We must not. A noble prisoner! 

Second Soldier. Room, ho ! Tell Antony, Brutus is ta'en. 

First Soldier. I'll tell the news. Here comes the general. 

Enter Antony. 

Brutus is ta'en, Brutus is ta'en, my lord. 

Antony. Where is he? 

Lucilius. Safe, Antony ; Brutus is safe enough : 
I dare assure thee that no enemy 
Shall ever take ahve the noble Brutus : 
The gods defend him from so great a shame! 
When you do find him, or alive or dead. 
He will be found Hke Brutus, like himself. 

Antojiy. This is not Brutus, ^ friend ; but^ I assure you, 

1 See Note 2, p. 104. 

2 " Only I yield to die," i.e., I only yield to die. 

3 We gather from Plutarch that, Brutus himself being cut off from the 
camp and closely followed, Lucilius, one of his company, to give him time 
to escape, affected to personate his general, and falling behind, was taken. 
This captive, supposed to be Brutus, being conducted to Antony, to whom 
he was known, met with a reception not unworthy of his generous artifice. 
" You intended," said Antony to those who brought the prisoner, " to bring 
me an enemy, but you have brought me a friend." 


A prize no less in worth : keep this man safe ; 

Give him all kindness : I had rather have 

Such men my friends than enemies. Go on, 

And see we'er ^ Brutus be alive or dead ; 

And bring us word unto Octavius' tent 

How everything is chanced. \Exeunt. 

Scene V. Another Part of the Field. 

Enter Brutus, Dardanius, Clitus, Strato, and Volumnius. 

Brutus. Come, poor remains of ^ friends, rest on this rock. 

Clitus. Statilius show'd the torchhght, but, my lord, 
He came not back: he is or ta'en or slain. 

Brutus. Sit thee down, Clitus : slaying is the word ; 
It is a deed in fashion. Hark thee, Clitus. [ Whispers. 

Clitus. What, I, my lord? No, not for all the world. 

Brutus. Peace then! no words. 

Clitus. I'll rather kill myself. 

Brutus. Hark thee, Dardanius. [ Whispers. 

Dardanius. Shall I do such a deed? 

Clitus. O Dardanius! 

B>arda?tius. O Clitus! 

Clitus. What ill request did Brutus make to thee ? 

Dardanius. To kill him, Clitus, Look, he meditates, 

Clitus. Now is that noble vessel full of grief. 
That it runs over even at his eyes. 

Brutus. Come hither, good Volumnius ; list a word. 

Vohimnius. What says my lord? 

Brutus. Why, this, Volumnius: 

The ghost of Caesar hath appear'd to me 
Two several times by night ; at Sardis once, 
And, this last night, here in Philippi fields : 
I know my hour is come. 

1 Whether. 2 " Poor remains of," i.e., few surviving. 


. Volumnius. Not so, my lord. 

Brutus. Nay, I am sure it is, Volumnius. • 
Thou seest the world, ^ Volumnius, how it goes; 
Our enemies have beat us to the pit : \Low alarums. 

It is more worthy to leap in ourselves. 
Than tarry till they push us. Good Volumnius, 
Thou know'st that we two went to school together : 
Even for that our love of old, I prithee. 
Hold thou my sword-hilts, whilst I run on it. 

Volumnius. That's not an office for a friend, my lord. 

[Alarum still 

Clitus. Fly, fly, my lord ; there is no tarrying here. 

Brutus. Farewell to you ; and you ; and you, Volumnius. 
Strato, thou hast been all this while asleep ; 
Farewell' to thee too, Strato. Countrymen, 
My heart doth joy that yet in all my life 
I found no man but he was true to me. 
I shall have glory by this losing day 
More than Octavius and Mark Antony 
By this vile conquest shall attain unto. 
So fare you well at once ; for Brutus' tongue 
Hath almost ended his life's history : 
Night hangs upon mine eyes ; my bones would rest. 
That have but labor'd to attain this hour. 

\Alarum. Cry within^ " Fly, fly, fly!*"' 

Clitus. Fly, my lord, fly. 

Brutus. Hence! I will follow. 

[Exeunt Clitus, Dardanius, and Volumniu^ 
I prithee, Strato, stay thou by thy lord : 
Thou art a fellow of a good respect ; 
Thy life hath had some smatch 2 of honor in it : 
Hold then my sword, and turn away thy face. 
While I do run upon it. Wilt thou, Strato? 

Strato. Give me your hand first. Fare you well, my lord. 

1 That is, our world, i.e., the condition of our affairs. 2 Taste. 


Brutus. Farewell, good Strato. \Runs on his sword^ ^ Caesar, 
now be still : 
I kill'd not thee with half so good a will. \Dies. 

Alarum. Retreat. Enter OcTAVius, Antony, Messala, Lucilius, 
and the ar?ny. 

Octavius. What man is that? 

Messala. My master's man. Strato, where is thy master? 

Strato. Free from the bondage you are in, Messala : 
The conquerors can but make a fire of him ; 
For Brutus only overcame himself. 
And no man else hath honor by his death. 

Lucilius. So Brutus should be found. I thank thee, Brutus, 
That thou hast prov'd LuciKus' saying true. 

Octavius. All that serv'd Brutus, I will entertain them. 2 
Fellow, wilt thou bestOAv thy time^ with me? 

Strato. Ay, if Messala will prefer* me to you. 

Octavius. Do so, good Messala. 

Messala. How died my master, Strato? 

Strato. I held the sword, and he did run on it. 

Messala. Octavius, then take him to follow thee, 
That did the latest service to my master. 

Antony. This was the noblest Roman of them all : 
All the conspirators save only he 
Did that they did in envy of great Caesar ; 
He only, in a general honest thought 
And common good to all, ^ made one of them. 
His hfe was gende, and the elements 
So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up 
And say to all the world " This was a man ! " 

1 See Introduction, p. 17. 

2 " I will entertain them," i.e., take them into my service. 

3 " Bestow thy time," etc., i.e., spend thy time as my servant. 

4 Recommend. 

5 " In a generd honest thought," etc., i.e., in a general honest thought 
and foi the common good of all. 


114 SHAKESPEARE. [act v, 

Octavius. According to his virtue let us use him, 
With all respect and rites of burial. 
Within my tent his bones to-night shall lie, 
Most like a soldier, order'd honorably. 
So call the field to rest ; and let's away, 
To parti t]^e glories of this happy day. \Exeunt. 

» Share. 


The plays of Shakespeare are, first of all, stories. It is as stories 
that they enlist our first interest. Neither the flowering of the 
author's genius into forms of poetic speech, nor his perception of the 
beauty in nature, nor his philosophical insight into the laws of human 
life, interests us at the first so much as does the mere movement of 
events by which he unfolds his conception. It is as a story, there- 
fore, that a play of Shakespeare must first be studied. 

Every well-told story is arranged in accord with certain laws, whe- 
ther or not the narrator be conscious of them. So the study of form 
becomes a necessary means to the full appreciation of this, as of other 
kinds of art. A story must have a beginning, a middle, and an end. 
In the form and nature of these, and in their relation to each other; 
in the proportion and position of the parts of the story ; in the main- 
tenance of a proper sequence and dependence ; and in the cumulative 
effect of details properly massed, are seen the evidences of the author's 
skill in narration. And upon such skill will depend, in part, the 
effectiveness of the story. 

Now the drama is a special form of story. It is obedient to the 
same laws as prose narration, but in a different way. Explanations, 
hints of time, of relationship, of character, and of purpose, in the de- 
velopment of the action are differently given. More is left to the 
constructive imagination of the reader; there is more that he is in 
danger of overlooking. Hence the need of reading with greater 
care; the need, also, of more assistance in learning to read a drama. 

The study of character is also necessary to the appreciation of the 
drama. Such study must be more than a casual enumeration of 
characterizing adjectives, more or less accurately selected. It must 
observe the initial conception of a given character ; the means by 



which this character is revealed to us ; his relation to other characters 
in the play; his effect upon them, and their effect upon him; and, 
above all, the relation of the character to the action of the play — 
wherein and how far his nature determines the action, and how far 
the action makes him what he becomes. It is in this relation of the 
characters to the action, and in the interdependent development, to 
the end, of both the characters and the action, that the author sets 
forth the central idea of the play. 

The teacher will need to know wherein lie the elements of the play 
that make it of universal interest. He must help the pupil to see the 
laws of life in their development in action and character. That the 
poet presents them thus concretely, and not as formulae; that it is 
sometimes next to impossible to formulate them, as, for instance, in 
" Othello," is no argument that they are not implicit in the story. 
It is in the ordered, clear, and vivid portrayal of idealized life that the 
dramatist's genius is shown, and not merely in vivid imagery or dig- 
nified and impassioned language. 

The questions given on the following pages are intended only to 
suggest lines of thought and discussion upon the principles just stated. 
The teacher may well find others of his own making better adapted 
to his purposes in the study of this play. He may wish to ask more, 
or fewer. But he will, in any event, probably find that questions must 
be asked ; that young readers of Shakespeare are not likely to see for 
themselves all that will interest them or all that will help them to the 
fullest appreciation of the play of which they are capable. 

But it would be a great mistake to allow these or any other ques- 
tions to get between the pupils and their poet. The play should first 
be read through as one reads any book, without other study than is 
necessary to get the general drift and meaning of the story. Then 
the detailed study, with the help of the questions, may begin. Pupils 
should be held responsible for the meanings of the words as a matter 
of course. Allusions should be treated likewise, where they involve 
the sense of the passage. But the most of the work at this stage of 
study will be upon the significance and relations to one another of the 
parts of the play. After this analytic work — which will interest and 
benefit the pupil just in proportion as it reveals to him things which he 
would not have found Out for himselt and which bring the play within 
the realm of ideas and ideals which he has or for which he is ready — 
after this will come the final reading of the play to enable the student 
to complete his synthesis of the whole. He should now be able to see 


the career of Brutus from the beginning to the end in its relations to 
the rest of the play ; the destruction of Brutus and his party, as due 
partly to the mistakes of Brutus and partly to the inevitable march of 
events outside of his control; the rise, development, and final tri- 
umph of Antony's power; the relations of each to the practical world 
about them ; and many other of the interesting movements of the 
play. In some degree he will have come to realize the play as an 
artistic whole. 

Much of the poetry and the power of any great work of literature 
cannot be taught. It may be felt ; but it can be communicated only 
by the author himself, and only to those who can in some measure 
enter into his spirit. The teacher may, indeed, help the pupil to 
create in his mind the intellectual conditions necessary to such feeling. 
He may infect the pupil with some of the contagion of his own ad- 
miration. But he cannot enforce appreciation. He must be con- 
tent with seeking to foster it. 

The following books will be found especially helpful in the teaching 
of Shakespeare in the schools: Dowden's "Shakespeare Primer" 
(American Book Co.); Freytag's " Technique of the Drama" (Scott, 
Foresman, & Co.) ; Butcher's " Aristotle's Theory of Poetry and Fine 
Art" (Macmillan). 



Scene I. i. What is taking place in the streets of Rome when the 
play opens? 

2. What powers had the tribunes? How had they the right to 
strip Caesar's trophies h'om the images? 

3. What was the nature of these images ? (See Introduction, p. 5. ) 

4. What was the occasion of their erection ? 

5. What attitude do the tribunes hold toward Csesar? 

6. How does this foreshadow the motive of the drama? 

7. Note the fickleness of the common people. How does this serve 
the purposes of the play ? 

8. Why is Csesar compared with Pompey in the speech of MaruUus? 

9. Note the fine effects of rhythm and of repetition, and the ora- 
torical quality of this speech. 

Scene II. i. Are the first ten lines intended to intimate imperial 
ambition m Caesar? (See Introduction, p. 5.) 

2. Note that Casca is the one who twice calls for quiet when Caesar 
speaks. Why does he so ? 

3. How has the soothsayer his knowledge? 

4. Why is his warning introduced? 

5. How does Cffisar treat him ? Why? 

6. In what mood is Brutus when Cassius addresses him? Why? 

7. Note that their friendship is made prominent from the first. 

8. What opinion does Cassius hold of Brutus ? Upon what is it 
based ? 

9. To what motives does Cassius appeal ? 

10. By what arguments does he seek to move Brutus? 


ACT I. sc. I. -III.] JULIUS CMSAR. 119 

11. How do circumstances help him in his attempt? 

12. How and why has Shakespeare changed the order of events 
from Plutarch's account? (See Introduction, p. 5.} 

13. By what spirit and motives does Cassius seem to be actuated? 

14. Why do not Brutus and Cassius discuss their thoughts and feel- 
ings more boldly ? 

15. How does Caesar's speech about Cassius serve to reveal him- 
self? Note here and elsewhere m the play the character given to 
Caesar. Compare the poet's estimate of Caesar elsewhere (" Hamlet," 
I. i. ; V. i.; Richard Third, HI. i.; Cymbeline, HI. i.). 

16. What sort of man is Casca ? How does he regard the incidents 
of the day ? What does he think of Csesar ? 

17. How, again, does the populace appear? 

18. Why are MaruUus and Flavins "put to silence"? Has this 
any bearing on the cause of Cassius? 

19. What relationship of Cassius and Brutus to each other and to 
the conspiracy is suggested in the last speech of Cassius ? 

20. What elements are there in the play up to this point that seem 
to promise tragedy rather than comedy? Consider the characters 
involved and the nature of the question at issue„ 

Scene III. i. What is Cicero's part in the play? 

2. How does he compare with Casca ? 

3. What is the effect of the prodigies that now appear? 

4. What is again the burden of Cassius' thought and conversation ? 

5. By what means does he work upon Casca? 

6. Note the difference between Casca's outspoken bluntness and 
Cassius' shrewd insinuations. 

7. What was the Roman idea of suicide as expressed here by 

8. How does this scene reveal his activity in the plot, and the 
reasons why the conspirators wanted Brutus with them? 

How much of the motive and action of the play has been given in 
Act I. ? 


Scene I. i. Why does Brutus wish that he could sleep like 
Lucius? Compare lines 61-69. 

2. What reasons for and against the conspiracy does Brutus see ? 

120 SHAKESPEARE. [act ii. sc. i-iv. 

3. Does he reason justly? 

4. What papers are these that Brutus finds? 

5. What wrong conclusion does he reach concerning them? 

6. Does this fact show his unfitness to be a leader of men ? 

7. What motives actuate him? Why does he speak of his an- 
cestors ? 

8. How is the progress of time indicated here ? (See Act I., Scene 
IIL, and line 2 of this scene.) 

9. What qualities does Brutus show in lines 60-85 ? 

10. How does he regard conspiracy? Do the other conspirators 
anywhere betray the same feelings ? 

11. Why do they discuss a trivial matter like the points of the 
compass while Brutus and Cassius are talking? 

12. What qualities does Brutus again show when Cassius suggests 
that they bind themselves by an oath ? 

13. Do the other conspirators show the same high ideals of duty? 

14. What features of their enterprise does Cassius from time 
to time refer to? Compare his attitude of mmd with that of 

15. Why is Cicero not included? How has Shakespeare differed 
here from Plutarch ? (See Introduction, p. 11.) Why? 

16. Why does Cassius want Antony killed? 

17. Why does Brutus refuse? 

18. Which has more worldly wisdom ? 

19. Why does the will of Brutus prevail? 

20. Upon what ground does he base his opinion of Antony's weak- 
ness? Is he correct? 

21. What new references are made to Ccesar's weaknesses ? What 
purpose has the poet in so representing Caesar? 

22. Has Brutus thus far taken any active part in bringing any one 
into the plot? 

23. What quality does his treatment of Lucius reveal? 

24. Why does the poet make Portia show us the mental distress of 

25. What sort of character has she? (See reference to her in 
"Merchant of Venice," I. i.) 

26. How does she win his confidence ? 

27. Has Ligarius perhaps received any intimation of the con- 
spiracy ? If not, how does he so readily guess Brutus' mean- 

ACT III. sc. I.] JULIUS CMSAR. 1 21 

Scene II. i. What new use of portents does this scene contain? 

2. Do they serve to-deepen the approaching tragedy ? Or to bring 
out Caesar's weak vanity ? 

3. How does Calpurnia compare with Portia? Is there any dra- 
matic reason why she should be made less admirable than Portia ? 

4. Note that Csesar is again seen indulging a swaggering vanity. 
By what means is he led into the net prepared for him? 

5. Is there any evidence in this scene that Caesar was, in reality, 
hoping to be crowned king? If so, how does it dispose us toward 
him, and how toward the party of Brutus? 

6. Does the poet introduce anything that turns our sympathy 
toward Csesar ? How does Brutus regard this part of their enterprise ? 

Scene III. i. For what purpose is this scene introduced? 

2. What does Artemidorus think is the motive of the conspirators? 

3. Is he right? Is Brutus wrong? Have not Brutus and his 
friends reason to fear Caesar's ambition ? 

4. Is Shakespeare perhaps showing us that both sides may be 

Scene IV. i. What is the cause of Portia's agitation and distress? 

2. How does she show that Brutus has told her the plans of the 
conspiracy ? 

3. Why does she send Lucius to the senate-house? 

4. How does she show her extreme nervous tension? 

5. What connection has this scene with what we hear of Portia 
later in the play ? 

6. Why is the soothsayer again introduced ? What is the effect of 
these continued forebodings and prognostications of evil to Caesar ? 

How far does Act II. bring the action of the play ? 


Scene I. i. What is the spirit of Csesar's first speech? Of his 
second and third ? Are they consistent with his former attitude ? 

2. What serves to hasten the action of the conspirators? How 
are the difficulty and the danger of their plan indicated? 

3. Note how Csesar's arrogance and vanity grow more prominent 
as his doom draws nearer. What is the poet's purpose in this? 

122 SHAKESPEARE. [act iii. sc. i.-iii. 

4. What is the effect upon us of Csesar's last speech ? Does Brutus 
yet feel the force of its reproach ? 

5. How are we shown the immediate effect of the deed upon the 
city? Why? 

6. How does Brutus show that he is carried along by the power of 
a high ideal ? 

7. Is his speech, " How many times shall Ceesar bleed in sport," 
etc., natural? Or is Shakespeare too conscious that he is writing a 
play ? 

8. What is the tone of the message that Antony sends to Brutus? 
Why ? Why is Brutus deceived by it ? 

9. Why does Cassius suspect Antony? In what other parts of this 
scene does he show more knowledge of men than Brutus? Note 
that it is now through the generosity of Brutus that his fortunes begin 
to fall. 

10. What shows the genuineness of Antony's grief over Ccesar? 

11. Compare the different ways in which Brutus and Cassius ap- 
proach Antony. (See question 9, above.) 

12. How does Cassius know that it is unwise to grant Antony the 
privilege of speaking to the people ? 

13. What hint does this scene give of the tone that Antony must 
adopt before he knows he has the people with him ? 

14. What are the elements of power in his speech over Caesar's 
body when left alone? 

15. How does his last speech in this scene show his resolution? 
How does it now appear that Brutus has blundered dangerously both 
in his judgment of Antony and of the people ? 

16. Show how the same weakness that drew Brutus into the mur-. 
der of Ccesar is now likely to prove the means of his own rum. 

Scene II. i. Why has the poet not given us the speech of Cassius 

2. What is the attitude of the crowd toward Brutus at the begin- 
ning and at the end of his speech ? 

3. How does the crowd show itself unfit for self-government ? 

4. Of what nature is Brutus' speech ? To what does he appeal 
in the people ? 

5. How does he again show his limited knowledge of men ? 

6. How does Antony at once show his knowledge of the crowd? 

7. How does he avoid giving offense at first? 

ACT IV. sc. I.] JULIUS C^SAR. 123 

8. To what does he at first appeal in the people ? 

9. Does he call Brutus honorable in ironical tones at the first ? 
Consider the mood of the crowd and the circumstances in which he 
knew himself to be, 

10. Note the various means by which he moves the emotions of the 
people and convinces their reason. Compare this with Brutus' method 
of persuading them. 

11. Note how Antony frames his speech as the sentiments of the 
crowd guide him. 

12. Where does he first covertly condemn the conspirators? 
Where does he do it openly ? 

13. What use does he make of Caesar's will? 

14. Why does he defer reading it? 

15. Note Shakespeare's estimate of the nature of the crowd in 
their quick display of feeling, their lack of logic, their hero-worship- 
ing, their forgetfulness when moved to passion. Does he seem to 
think them capable of self-government? 

16. Compare Antony's power at the end of this scene with Brutus' 
estimate of him. 

Scene III. i. What is the dramatic purpose of this scene? 
2. Does it serve as relief, or to give a better idea of the condition of 
the citizens of Rome ? 

To what point has this act brought the movement of the play? 
Whose fortune is in the ascendant? By what circumstances, what 
motives, what forces, what mistakes, has the change been brought 
about? Where is the climax, or turning point, of the entire play? 


Scene I. i. Note the way in which the party of Antony decide 
upon matters of life and death. Compare this passage with Antony's 
attitude in Act III., Scene 1. 

2. Note Antony's treatment of Ccesar's will. Compare his use of it 
in Act III., Scene II. Compare also his intentions regarding Lepidus. 

3. What proportions does he now begin to assume in the drama? 
From what point did his rise to prominence begin ? 

4. What lines of action now seem to be entering into the play to 
determine it? 

5. How is it shown that Antony's party is not yet supreme? 

124 SHAKESPEARE. [act iv. sc. ii., hi. 

Scene II. i. What is the cause of the difference between Brutus 
and Cassius ? 

2. Compare this cause with the motives that appear to control 
Antony and Octavius in Scene I. 

Scene III. i. What is Cassius' grievance ? What Brutus' ? Which 
makes out the better arguinent ? 

2. Does Cassius successfully answer the charge made by Brutus? 

3. Note that Cassius shifts the quarrel to personal grounds. 

4. What ideals are shown to govern Brutus? Has he become a 
weaker or a meaner man ? 

5. How does he prevail over Cassius in their quarrel? 

6. Is it a penalty of his crime that he must now be brought into 
contact with things that his better nature scorns ? 

7. Does this scene show his unfitness to cope with the conditions 
into which he has put himself? 

8. Note his- opinion of Cssar. Has he perhaps felt some remorse 
for Csesar's death ? 

9. As the quarrel is made up, who shows the greater soul? 

10. How does the Poet serve to hasten the reconciliation? 

11. Why is Portia's death mentioned here? 

12. How does Brutus bear it? 

13. What tribute does Cassius pay to her worth ? 

14. Why does Brutus feign ignorance and allow Messala to an- 
nounce her death to him ? 

15. Why does Brutus override Cassius' judgment about their 
plans? Was it wisely done? (See Act V., Scene I., lines 1-6.) 

16. Note Brutus' gentleness with the boy Lucius, with Varro and 
Claudius ; their attitude toward him ; and his love of books and music. 
How do these things make us judge of him ? 

17. Why has Shakespeare varied from Plutarch (see Introduction, 
p. 15) in making the apparition the ghost of Caesar? 

18. Why does he call up the sleepers in his tent? 

19. Was the vision real, or the product of his imagination ? 

20. Note the fortitude which he displays in the incident, and espe- 
cially at the end of the scene. 

How has Act IV. advanced the action ? Show how the char- 
acter of Brutus has in part determined it. Point out the things that 
foreshadow the tragic ending of the play. 

ACT V. sc. i.-v.] JULIUS CA^.SAE. 125 


Scene I. i. Note that the first advantage in the contest is with 

Antony's party. 

2. What is the dramatic purpose of the recriminations that pass 
between the opposing generals? 

3. Are Antony's reproaches just ? 

. 4. Note that Cassius apprehends evil. Has he had such forebod- 
ings before? 

5. In what frame of mind is Brutus ? 

6. Does he seem to repent the work of the Ides of March ? 

Scenes II. and III. i. By what mistake is Cassius betrayed? 

2. Does he show his accustomed shrewdness here? 

3. Note the prevalence here of the Roman idea of suicide. 

4. What is the meaning of Brutus' speech, " O Julius Caesar, thou 
art mighty yet ! " etc.? 

5. Note his fortitude over Cassius' death. 

Scenes IV. and V. i. How is the approaching downfall of Brutus' 
party indicated ? 

2. How are the love and respect in which his friends held him indi- 
cated ? 

3. Does he believe in the justice of his cause to the end? 

4. Why is Mark Antony made to pay such high tribute to his 
worth ? 

5. Wherein lies the tragedy of his life : in wrong-doing or in error, 
or in both ? 

Why should the play be named Julius Caesar, although Brutus is 
the hero ? 

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By Mildred Cabell Watkins. 

Flexible cloth, i8mo, 224 pages ..... 35 cents 
A text-book of American Literature adapted to the comprehension 
of pupils in common and graded schools. 

Brooke's English Literature (Literature Primer Series). 

By the Rev. Stopford Brooke, M.A. Nevs^ edition, revised 
and corrected. Flexible cloth, i8mo, 240 pages . . 35 cents 
Equally valuable as a class-book for schools or as a book of refer- 
ence for general readers. 

Smith's Studies in English Literature 

By M. W. Smith, A.M. Cloth, i2mo, 427 pages . . $1.20 
Containing complete selections from Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, 

Bacon and Milton, with a History of English Literature to the death 

of Dryden in 1700. 

Cathcart's Literary Reader 

By George R. Cathcart. Cloth, leather back, i2mo, 

541 pages $1.15 

A manual of English literature containing typical selections from 

the best British and American authors, vi'ith biographical and critical 

sketches, portraits and fac-simile autographs. 

Anderson's Study of English Words 

By J. M. Anderson. Cloth, i2mo, 118 pages . . 40 cents 
A summary of the most important facts of the English language, 

with special reference to the growth of English words. 

KooprVian's Mastery of Books 

By H. L. KooPMAN, Librarian of Brown University. 

Cloth, i2mo, 214 pages 90 cents 

A guide to the selection of the best books for reading and reference. 

Copies of any of the above books will be sent, prepaid, to any address on 
receipt of the price by the Ptiblishers: 

American Book Company 



An Introduction to the 

Study of American Literature 



Professor of Literature in Columbia University 

Cloth, 12mo, 256 pages - ■ ■ Price, $1.00 

A text-book of literature on an original plan, and conforming with 
the best methods of teaching. 

Admirably designed to guide, to supplement, and to stimulate the 
student's reading of American authors. 

Illustrated with a fine collection of facsimile manuscripts, portraits 
of authors, and views of their homes and birthplaces. 

Bright, clear, and fascinating, it is itself a literary work of high rank. 

The book consists mostly of delightfully readable and yet compre- 
hensive little biographies of the fifteen greatest and most representative 
American writers. Each of the sketches contains a critical estimate of 
the author and his works, which is the more valuable coming, as it does, 
from one who is himself a master. The work is rounded out by four 
general chapters which take up other prominent authors and discuss the 
history and conditions of our literature as a whole ; and there is at the 
end of the book a complete chronology of the best American literature 
from the beginning down to 1896. 

Each of the fifteen biographical sketches is illustrated by a fine 
portrait of its subject and views of his birthplace or residence and in 
some cases of both. They are also accompanied by each author's 
facsimile manuscript covering one or two pages. The book contains 
excellent portraits of many other authors famous in American literature. 

Copies of Br under Matthews Introduction to the Study of American 
Literature will be sent prepaid to any address, on receipt of the price, 
by the Publishers : 

American Book Company 

New York ♦ Cincinnati ♦ Chicago 


OGT ■ 




BURNS'S POEMS— Selections . 

BYRON'S POEMS— Selections . 










GRAY'S POEMS— Selections 

IRVING'S SKETCH-BOOK— Selections .... 





























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